News & Opinion

Mail research finds car ads are not connecting with female audiences

Research conducted by Mail Advertising reveals one in four women relate to current automotive advertising.

According to Mail Advertising, nine in 10 women influence the decision to both look for a new car and which one to purchase for the family home. In the last year alone, the Mail's female readers spent £3.9bn on new cars, and of new cars purchased in the UK, 45% of those likely to purchase in the next two years are women. Only one in four women feeling that current car advertising speaks to them.

The research looked at the attitudes and behaviours of 1,200 new car buyers and focused on the key gender differences around purchase. Factors investigated included male and female perspectives of car buying, their roles during the process, the role of information sources and the value of advertising to each group.

Results show that women are highly involved in all stages of the purchase process but tend to opt out at the negotiation stage in the car showroom. One in five of those surveyed strongly agreed they felt confident going to buy a car (22%) and one in 10 feel that they are treated fairly by salespeople. Female car buyers also claim they are less loyal to brands than men.

During the discussion, the panellists remarked on the iconic car adverts of the 80s and 90s and their effectiveness, which according to Casey, was lost in part due to "an increased centralisation of the creative process".

She continued: "Investing the majority of budget into fewer assets such as a big TV creative, has left brands unable to address local market needs.

"Segmentation and understanding your customer demographics leads to better results. The ability to influence advertising assets, which relate to our local audience, are finally beginning to grow again because brands are recognising that.

"When it comes to appealing to female audiences, Renault is also changing the make-up of our teams, ensuring we have strong female representation that reflects our customer base."

Charlotte Taylor, business development director for Mail Advertising, said of the research: "The vast majority of car adverts you see today feel generic, the same angles – the same long winding road. They fail to resonate with people.

"It's important for advertisers to think about how they can stand out in this increasingly hi-tech environment. There are so many ways for brands to connect with customers, across multiple platforms. Advertisers need to look at the data and find out where their target audience is consuming content on a daily basis.

"Manufacturers should focus on telling consumers what they want to hear versus what they want to tell them. The ones who'll win will be those who can tell a good story."

View the full report and highlights from the panel discussion.

by Lydia O'Neill 28/06/17

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