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Research Shows Importance of Green Messaging in Advertising

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May 15, 2013—Automotive advertising that focuses on green innovation and messaging resonates across the automotive industry, both with non-luxury and luxury vehicle consumers, according to new research from Detroit-based Phoenix Marketing International.

During the period of 2011 to 2012, Phoenix found that messaging on innovation, especially messaging on innovations that lead to better fuel economy or alternative fuel vehicles, were some of the best-performing ads.

Phoenix’s automotive ad tracking includes flagging ads for their type and content, such as sales events, launches, brand image, product-sustaining ads, and ads that contain specific messaging elements related to alternative fuels or green innovations.

Phoenix says that the best-performing ads have included ads for hybrid, electric or diesel cars.

“In the non-luxury car segment, we’ve seen successes in automotive advertising recently for vehicles like the Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and for Volkswagen TDI Clean Diesel,” said Kevin Severance, analyst for Phoenix Marketing International. “These ads’ presence and performance clearly indicate growing consumer interest for innovations in efficiency.”

The messages on innovations also seemed to resonate most heavily with consumers in the younger age brackets.

Phoenix asked consumers how likely they are to consider an alternative fuel vehicle on their next purchase. The responses showed a divide between older and younger consumers: 40 percent of baby boomers said they were likely to consider an alternative fuel vehicle, compared to 68 percent of Generation X/Y.

Phoenix measured advertising performance across five vehicle categories (non-luxury car, non-luxury CUV/SUV, truck, luxury car and luxury CUV/SUV), as well as collected monthly data from 1,800 U.S. consumers who have recently purchased or are currently in the market for a new vehicle.

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