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MVVA - Automotive sector
Jan 25, 2022

Most Viewed Video Ads: Automotive Sector 2021

2021 was a tough year for the automotive industry. After the global pandemic forced many auto manufacturers to temporarily shut down their factories and halt supplier orders in 2020, strong consumer demand suggested 2021 might be better. But the year brought its own challenges— auto manufacturers were faced with a multitude of global supply chain disruptions, and a major shortage of semiconductor chips. All in all, these combined issues cost the global automotive industry about $210 billion in lost revenue (source: AlixPartners).


Yet despite the myriad of difficulties the sector faced, their advertising has remained unbothered. In fact, overall ad spend was up 12% year over year, with the largest increase being in digital spend which grew 70% year over year (source: DFD News). The Most Viewed Video Ads for the Automotive Sector in 2021 illustrate this optimism through celebrity cameos, creative storytelling, and aspirational themes that stretched far beyond the road. 


Most Viewed Video Ads: Automotive Sector 2021

Rank Brand Campaign Release date Total views
1 Jeep The Middle 02/06/21 58,309,317
2 Cadillac ScissorHandsFree 02/04/21 28,790,934
3 Cadillac The All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ 08/23/21  27,339,245
4 Jeep The Road Ahead 02/06/21  22,946,003
5 Toyota Upstream 02/03/21 20,536,607
6 BMW The BMW Christmas Film 12/20/21 17,058,359
7 Ford Mustang Mach-E v Everything 02/11/2021 16,145,987
8 Toyota The Pitch 06/18/2021 15,606,484
9 GMC The Next All-Electric Supertruck 03/08/21  14,451,140
10 Hyundai    Her car was totaled, but this story has a happy ending 05/21/2021 10,461,249


*Data collected by AcuityAds’ True Reach™ insights platform from January 1 – December 31, 2021 


Key Insights

Let’s take a look at key themes from best-in-class advertisers in the Most Viewed Videos Ads for the Automotive Sector in 2021.


1. We, the people: Social marketing for the win

Car ads are not just about cars. Jeep’s ad The Middle, which debuted at the 2021 Super Bowl and featured rock legend Bruce Springsteen, proved this by taking the first spot on our list. Jeep used their ad time to make a statement about the growing cultural divide in the United States–taking the term off-road to a new meaning. Although there were exceptions that tested this rule, the Most Viewed Video Ads for the Automotive Sector in 2021 tried to tie their brand to a larger ideal.


2. Grab your popcorn: Longer ads justified, if they’re entertaining

Although video ads are usually recut to fit different formats and media, most of the video ads in our top 10 list exceeded 30 seconds, with Toyota’s The Pitch lasting just under five minutes. Coupled with cinematic intros and creative storytelling, viewers may forget that they are watching an ad at all.


3.A cleaner future: Growing appetite for ‘all-electric’

GMC’s The Next All-Electric Supertruck and Cadillac’s The All-Electric Cadillac LYRIQ are the only ads to feature electric vehicles. Given the similarity of their titles, it is possible that the term “all-electric” will become more prominent in the coming years as electric vehicles gain more traction in North America. 


With only one in three potential car buyers knowing the exact vehicle they want to purchase (source: Cox Automotive) and 95% of vehicle buyers using digital as a source of information (source: Google), marketers have the potential to target consumers and influence their purchase decision through digital advertising. 


Get in touch to learn how illumin™, our omnichannel advertising technology, can help you target, engage and convert automotive consumers like never before. 

Book a demo 


About True Reach™ insights platform

Increase total views and time spent on your video campaigns without increasing advertising spend. Our proprietary True Reach technology harnesses all publicly available view data on social platforms to track real-time performance and enable decision-making that optimizes your Share of Attention™. 


Get in touch to learn how your video campaigns rank against competitors and how you can capture viewer attention with our proprietary True Reach™ technology.


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