Ford won the first-ever Nielsen Automotive Green Marketer of the Year award at a presentation at the Los Angeles International Auto Show. The award recognized the brand that made the greatest strides in gaining consumer awareness and positively shifting consumer perceptions for their environmentally friendly marketing initiatives.
Ford has built significant awareness over the past year around their hybrid vehicles and fuel-efficient cars with key campaigns for Fiesta and Fusion Hybrid, as well as their Drive One 2.0 brand ads featuring hybrids and miles-per-gallon (MPG) related ads. In addition, Ford’s official sponsorship of Fox’s reality show American Idol, which put specific emphasis on the hybrid offerings, has helped drive increased awareness of their green message among millions of people every week. Last season, American Idol’s popular Ford Music Video Challenge, in which exclusive Ford music videos aired each week, featured the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid, successfully grabbing the attention of consumers. Meanwhile, the company continued to break ground in social media with the launch of new apps aimed at expanding its reach to a new class of prospective car-buyers.
“The Automotive Green Marketer of the Year award is not just about great creative, although we all know that’s a crucial element of any effective ad campaign,” said Lois Miller, President, Nielsen Automotive. “However, this is bigger than one creative. This award is for the auto marketer who was most effective at leveraging its brand to further the ‘green’ movement and create positive awareness for all the auto industry is doing to drive fuel-efficiency and eco-friendly practices. This was best exemplified by Ford.”
To determine the finalists and winner of the Automotive Green Marketer of the Year, Nielsen leveraged three research studies – a cross-media survey of nearly 7,000 U.S. consumers, and separate analyses of data on TV advertising effectiveness and social media “buzz.” These three studies were then analyzed to understand awareness levels and perceptions for ‘green’ auto marketing across media types. Auto manufacturers that ran any national TV ads with “green” themes between October 2009 and September 2010 were eligible for consideration.
Nielsen research found:
• 85% of consumers said they recalled seeing a ‘green’ auto ad recently and, on average across the 23 brands measured, 67% of consumers said they had a more positive opinion of green marketing after seeing the ad.
• Further to that, 41% of consumers said the ad increased their consideration to buy the featured vehicle.
• Green auto ads resonated better than the average auto ad with 12% higher Message Recall, the percentage in which a viewer can recall an ad, the brand or vehicle featured in the ad, and the green message conveyed.
• Among nearly 60,000 social media messages analyzed for auto brands, consumers view their green auto marketing efforts in a favorable light with 12 times more positive “buzz” than negative.