7 of the best automotive video marketing campaigns

20th July 2016

Buying a car is a significant purchase fuelled by a host of emotional factors. Effective video marketing campaigns work by tapping into these emotional drivers in the first instance, and aid the decision-making process by backing the emotional up with facts. The right look and feel of an automotive video is still vital to show brands in the best possible light. But automotive campaigns are also changing to become more interactive, putting the customer in the driving seat via social media, live events and virtual reality.

We’ve pulled together seven recent video marketing to inspire your next marketing campaign for automotive brands, but which can be applied to any vertical.

Car journeys, life’s journeys

Automotive brand, Subaru, has eschewed flashy ads focusing on sleek new features. Rather it brings its marketing campaigns closer to home in the long-running ‘love’ series. The brand shows how a car fits into family life and its defining moments – new births, family holidays, teens learning to drive, caring for older relatives. The ads use the power of emotions to build trust in the audience, and thereby promoting trust in the features of the cars.

Marketing cars by tapping into emotional drivers

Emotion and family life lead this social video campaign for Polestar V60 too (we must confess we played a role in this successful campaign with our partner agency Havas Helias). When you’re thinking about ways to use emotion, it’s important to get into the heads of your audience and their drivers. In this case, the narrative taps into the aspiration of fathers for their children to look up to them.  

In this social media video campaign parents were encouraged to upload their childrens’ drawings with #MyPolestar to enter a contest to win a ‘racing driver’ experience. By going social, the brand extends campaign reach, encourages conversation and interaction based on topics of interest to the audience, and builds a community of brand ambassadors.

Putting a twist on Virtual Reality

We can’t discuss automotive adverts without mentioning virtual reality. VR gives automotive brands the power to let their audience experience their cars via a virtual test drive.

Jaguar in New Zealand turned this around and gave prospective customers an “actual experience”. This high end car brand pretended to offer volunteers a VR experience, but once they had the headsets on, they were actually given a ‘real’ experience out on the road.

Brands always need to weigh up the pros and cons of stunts, but this paid off, engaging the audience and taking a fun approach to VR – showing that their car is better than any virtual experiences.

Live event automotive videos

Live events are popular for automotive brands to show their products in action and allow consumers to get in the driving seat. Infiniti launched its new car at Goodwood’s Festival of Speed last year and called on us to help them promote it via an interactive video and social media campaign. The turnaround was fast; we filmed and edited live at the event, producing a series of films promoting the new car. The first of these videos was a short teaser to encourage the community to light up a box revealing parts of the new car by tweeting #glimpse30.

Drive awareness to build trust

Features, such as vehicle safety, are important selling points for automotive brands. But how can brands get creative to turn these into benefits that will sell the cars? Honda ran a social awareness-raising campaign encouraging people to avoid using their mobile phones while driving with #PhonesDownEyesUp.

The ads test whether people can text and multitask in a variety of scenarios from cutting hair to working out. By using humour, this campaign stresses the importance of safety and develops trust in the brand through content rather than listing their cars’ safety features.

A bold move

We just had to include this counter-intuitive campaign from Nissan, which is actually rather clever. The ad does what you’re not encouraged to do as a marketer; it praises competitor brands, Chevy, Ford, Dodge. But it’s not as weird as it sounds. The film sets out an emotion narrative of how we all stand on the shoulders of giants, including those other automotive brands. Nissan gives credit to its predecessors, but when the audience sees its new product, the Titan XD at the end of the ad, it feels as though this is the car of the moment. It actually consigns the aforementioned automotive heavy-hitters into the past.

Give vloggers a test drive

To reach new audiences, car companies have built relationships with influential bloggers and vloggers to connect and engage their often huge communities. Following a publishing rather than advertising model, viewers need to be entertained rather than sold to, and the fit between brand and vlogger needs to feel right.

YouTube comedy duo, Rhett and Link participated in a stunt for the Toyota Camry with hashtag #OneBoldChoice, testing out the new design by engaging in a variety of stunts. In this case, the partnership was effective for the brand attracting 10 million views.

If you’re looking for an automotive video, or need advice on engaging your audience through emotional video content, get in touch to find out how we can help.

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