Auto companies attract millennials via experiential marketing and music

Dive Brief:

  • As millennials start to buy houses and form families, car companies have been using experiential marketing tactics and music to make car purchases appealing to them.
  • Ford has been the leader in the marketing strategy, but other companies like Honda and Toyota have also developed similar campaigns. 
  • Although they have not revealed their ROIs for these campaigns, the companies feel positive about them, and Ginger Kasanic, experiential brand manager for Ford, has said she was pleased with the results.

Dive Insight:

Millennials are buying fewer cars than any other generation. Among some of the reasons this trend is taking place is because many of them are moving into big cities, they have more transportation options and the price of gasoline has increased significantly. A Washington Post article on the subject, citing research from U.S. Public Interest Research Group and the Frontier Group indicative of the downward trend, stressed that we "rethink how we subsidize, encourage and invest in car use" among millennials.

In 2014, Honda created a music platform called the Honda Stage. Earlier in 2015, Toyota experimented with experiential marketing with street performers in a campaign named "Feeling the Street." The Ford campaign, "Songs of the Road," mixes music writing with driving to appeal to millennials' creative streaks. Ford's experiential marketers brought together two musicians and tasked them with writing, recording and performing a brand new song in a 24-hour window. The Ford C-MAX served as their mode of transportation between all of these destinations.

Although cars are not very appealing to millennials, they do value experience. Millennials are more likely to spend their money on experiences as opposed to objects. For this reason, experience marketing may be a viable way to sell to millennials.

Filed Under: Trends
Top image credit: Flickr; N i c o l a