That’s what Volvo saw when it leaned into digital video for the launch of its new XC60. The model, which hadn’t been revamped in 10 years, had just won North American Utility Vehicle of the Year, an accomplishment Volvo hoped would catch the attention of SUV enthusiasts, in-market shoppers, and people who had previously visited an auto site. Thanks to digital video’s ability to reach specific audience segments, the campaign resulted in a double-digit increase in product awareness and ad recall. It also more than doubled the number of searches for “XC60” across Google Search and YouTube.
Video allows shoppers to compare and contrast their options
In addition to aiding discovery, YouTube is also becoming more assistive as people research vehicles. Over half of auto shoppers who turned to online video while researching said it helped them learn more about vehicles they were considering and 40% said they used it to narrow down their consideration set.
That makes sense; after all, the sight, motion, and sound of video let shoppers experience a product in a way that few other mediums allow. And YouTube, with its breadth of content — everything from professional comparison videos to user-generated reviews — enables shoppers to research and experience vehicles in new, more immersive ways. “I want to actually see someone test drive it and hear their opinions,” one car shopper told us last year when explaining why they watched “First Ride” videos on YouTube.
That’s been the experience of Subaru, which used digital video to drive consideration of its Impreza model among younger people entering new life stages, such as heading off to college or having a baby. “Video is a versatile and immersive format that allows brands to connect with consumers in very interesting ways,” Robert Font, the company’s director of digital marketing and communications, explained.
Using YouTube video ads, Subaru created relevant, timely messaging that helped its product be top of mind as its audience was considering which brand to buy. As a result, the campaign drove a double-digit increase in consideration metrics and search interest of the Impreza.
Video gets shoppers to the lot
But video doesn’t just facilitate discovery and exploration; it also encourages people to take action. Of the auto shoppers who used video during the research process, over 60% reported visiting a dealership or dealer website after watching a video of a vehicle they were considering.