Showcase Personality Traits to Win Over Auto Show Attendees

BY Courtney Huckabay
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It's not just the practicalities that differentiate car manufacturers — new research from YouGov Profiles shows how the different marques have different personalities, too. There's a more general sense of what each car brand represents. What does a Ford logo convey, and how is that different from Dodge? These factors help shape the decision process of future car buyers.

"Using YouGov Profiles, researchers investigated the long-​term personality data on members and looked for the defining traits of each customer group," Paul Hiebert wrote. "In other words, what do the personalities of the drivers of these cars reveal about the brands themselves?"

Communicating the personality traits of car brands could be an exciting new way to market to Auto Show Attendees. The new AudienceSCAN research reported 10% of Americans plan to attend new car/​truck auto shows in the next 12 months.

"The results were striking. BMW customers, for example, are likely to consider themselves more knowledgeable than most people, yet they are less mechanically intelligent than GM owners. While people who drive a Mercedes-​Benz see themselves as both leaders and highly adventurous, Volkswagen drivers reckon they have the most imagination."

Many drivers choose makes and models that symbolize their personalities, so why not advertise to those traits? The new AudienceSCAN study found 9% of Auto Show Attendees own BMWs, and 6% own Cadillacs, so dealers and sponsors could speak their languages while promoting auto shows.

"Why the vast differences in personality? Why would, say, 46% of Cadillac owners claim to be socially skilled, when only 27% of Chrysler owners say the same?"

"One obvious answer comes down to demographics. Through Profiles, we know that when compared to Chrysler owners, more Cadillac owners reside in the South, where etiquette and hospitality tend to receive more importance. Cadillac owners also have higher incomes, and perhaps they attribute some of this success to personal charm."

Reach out to these personality types through radio. The new AudienceSCAN survey revealed 67% of Auto Show Attendees took action after hearing radio (over-​the-​air, online, mobile or tablet) commercials in the past year.

"Another undeniable component is each brand's culture, as shaped by advertising and product placement. Luxury European brands such as Mercedes and BMW put a major emphasis on their sophisticated, sporty features, thereby appealing to people who value knowledge, leadership, and a sense of adventure. On the other hand, a 2015 spot for General Motors highlights "precision" while comparing a GMC truck to the efficiency and accuracy of a professional baseball pitcher. Mechanical intelligence is one of their brand values."

"Whatever the values championed by each brand's customer base, what's most remarkable is how different these values are from group to group. It's critical that brands target the right audience with a message that resonates."

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.