Automotive brands failing to engage female audiences

Data from Quantcast suggests the automotive sector is still creating advertising campaigns focussed heavily on concepts that appeal to men, despite rising purchasing power among women.

UK government data shows that car ownership among women increased 75 per cent in the 20 years up to 2014. However Quantcast found that the most engaging themes for female audiences, including ‘togetherness’ and ‘adventure’, appeared in less than one percent of adverts.

Quantcast used AI technology to analyse more than 4,000 pieces of ad creative across 1,350 advertising campaigns from the automotive, technology and finance sectors to identify the most common themes. These themes were then cross-checked against Quantcast campaign data to identify which creative concepts in the ads were most effective in driving engagement with men and women, and how often they appeared in the ads.

The analysis revealed a far greater overlap between the most effective themes for men and how often they appeared in ads targeted to that audience, indicating brands have spent more time understanding which themes resonate with that audience.

Matt White, EMEA MD at Quantcast, commented: “While there has been a lot of progress around removing gender stereotypes from advertising, it’s clear that some brands continue to lean on outdated perceptions of what appeals to their target audiences. The tools and data to understand our audiences better than ever exist today, so there is no longer any excuse. On International Women’s Day, we’re urging agencies and brands to consider every facet of their audiences when developing campaigns, and use the technology and data they have at their fingertips to remove any conscious or unconscious bias from campaigns.”

Analysing ad creative for other sectors of technology and finance revealed similar approaches to campaigns. In the technology sector, ‘happiness’ and ‘glamour’ were among the creative themes that drove the most engagement amongst women. In finance, adverts that showcased the concept of ‘nature’ and ‘outdoors’ performed well.

Top automotive themes for men versus how often they appear in automotive ad creative
Theme % of times it appears in creative
Business 27%
Road 21%
Speed 21%
Fast 16%

Source: Quantcast

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