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Nielsen Announces Top Automotive Ads of The Year

3 minute read | April 2017

Toyota’s Prius Ad Wins Top Honors at Nielsen’s Automotive Advertising Awards; Chevrolet, Genesis, and Nissan Among Winners

New York, NY – April 12, 2017 – Nielsen today announced the winners of its 11th annual Automotive Advertising Awards celebrating the most memorable TV ads that aired during 2016. Toyota’s spot was triumphant as the Automotive Ad of the Year.

In addition to the overall Automotive Ad of the Year, Nielsen awarded campaign category winners honoring excellence in effective creative across the automotive industry. Winners were announced during the opening press breakfast of the 2017 New York International Auto Show. They join an elite class of advertisers that have accelerated to the top with quality that entertains and engages viewers.

  • Automotive Ad of the Year: Toyota  Prius for its “The Longest Chase” ad (Creative Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi, Media Planning Agency: Saatchi & Saatchi)
  • Automotive Tech Ad of the Year: Chevrolet Malibu for its “Unbranded Launch” ad (Creative Agency: Commonwealth McCann, Media Planning Agency: Carat)
  • Luxury Campaign of the Year: Genesis for its “First Date” ad (Creative Agency: Innocean Worldwide, Media Planning Agency: Canvas Worldwide)
  • Spanish Advertiser of the Year: Nissan Rogue for its “First Impression” ad (Creative Agency: Fluent 360, Media Planning Agency: Fluent 360 & OMD)

The winners were picked based on performance in market, as assessed by Nielsen’s TV Brand Effect key metrics. The results reflect real life memorability, since viewing is done in a natural environment complete with daily distractions.

“Consumers are exposed to over three hundred ads a day, so developing advertising with great storytelling that breaks through the clutter is paramount,” said Enid Maran, Managing Director, Nielsen. “Gaining insight on how an ad will resonate with consumers based on real life reaction is imperative in today’s fragmented media landscape.”

At this year’s show, Nielsen also highlighted consumer neuroscience as a tool to help optimize advertising prior to launch.

“A comprehensive approach that integrates both conscious and nonconscious processing is needed to understand how ads will resonate in market,” said Dr. Carl Marci, Chief Neuroscientist for Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience. “We are seeing a lot of enthusiasm around these tools because the science is sound and precise, providing second by second insights of ads for our clients.” 

In addition to the Automotive Ad of the Year, the Tech Ad of the Year is the newest award category, given the importance of tech in consumer shopper criteria. The award was given for the first time to Chevrolet. This award highlights ads that showcase the functions and features within the vehicle and the plethora of new technologies that manufacturers are more frequently displaying.

“We are thrilled that Nielsen has recognized the Malibu Unbranded spot from our Real People, Not Actors campaign,” said Paul Edwards, U.S. vice president of Chevrolet Marketing. “The award for Tech Ad of the Year reinforces that authentic storytelling and the emotions that come from real people engaging with a new technology can be very effective in drawing consumers to a new product or brand.”

The Nielsen Auto Awards are unique since the panelists respond based on what they watched the day before in an ordinary viewing setting.  Nielsen measures all national commercials within its covered dayparts and networks and the awards are based on key metrics captured by Nielsen’s TV Brand Effect.  The awards consider memorability, correct brand association and likeability.


Nielsen Holdings plc (NYSE: NLSN) is a global performance management company that provides a comprehensive understanding of what consumers Watch and Buy. Nielsen’s Watch segment provides media and advertising clients with Total Audience measurement services across all devices where content—video, audio and text—is consumed. The Buy segment offers consumer packaged goods manufacturers and retailers the industry’s only global view of retail performance measurement. By integrating information from its Watch and Buy segments and other data sources, Nielsen provides its clients with both world-class measurement as well as analytics that help improve performance. Nielsen, an S&P 500 company, has operations in over 100 countries that cover more than 90% of the world’s population. For more information, visit


Brigit Hennaman,  646- 654-8314

Todd Graff 617-412-4000