Facebook Reminds Auto Marketers That ‘It’s a Great Day to Play With Cars’

The first digital campaign from the social network’s auto team debuts Dec. 3

The campaign is aimed at providing brands in the auto industry with the best practices for designing mobile creative - Credit by Facebook
Headshot of David Cohen

Facebook announced at the AutoMobility LA event in Los Angeles Wednesday that its auto team will debut a digital campaign Dec. 3, It’s a Great Day to Play With Cars.

The social network said the campaign is aimed at providing brands in the auto industry with the best practices for designing mobile creative and why those best practices are important not just on Facebook, but throughout their digital marketing efforts.

The online hub is already live, and it features a best practices creative manual focused on three pillars from Facebook Creative Shop:

  • Shoot for vertical: Facebook wrote, “Creating videos tailored to the way people naturally hold their phones not only makes sense—it makes your creative impact soar.”
  • Design for sound off (but delight with sound on): “Use sound to delight rather than to inform.”
  • Play with native tools: “Don’t be afraid to experiment with stop motion, 2D animation and visual effects. Use stickers or GIFs to create visual surprises, change it up with filters or get people involved by using polls.”

As for the digital campaign, Facebook Creative Shop teamed up with video production house Ghost Robot to create three different ad sets, with each shot specifically for vertical video.



Facebook said this is the first time its auto team has run a marketing campaign, and it shared some behind-the-scenes images from the shoot.



The social network also shared the results of a survey of 1,036 U.S. auto consumers 18 and older that its Facebook IQ research arm commissioned from Accenture. Its findings included:

  • 63 percent of car buyers discovered new vehicles online, with 30 percent discovering new vehicles and brands on their smartphones or tablets.
  • 36 percent of respondents discovered new automobiles via Facebook’s family of applications.
  • 78 percent find some type of social media content useful when deciding on a purchase.
  • 52 percent of women said they shared auto-related content, as did 47 percent of men.
  • Women said factors that are influential when evaluating potential car purchases include recommendations from family and friends, brand mission and values and safety, with 40 percent of them saying in-person conversations with family and friends play a role.
  • 79 percent of respondents buy or plan to buy cars at brick-and-mortar dealerships, versus just 20 percent who plan to make their purchases online. However, those numbers slide slightly to 71 percent and 27 percent, respectively, for those aged 18 through 34.
  • 86 percent of car shoppers said they want some type of engagement with their auto brands after buying a vehicle.

Facebook IQ shared the following takeaways for marketers in the auto industry:

  • Make every experience easy: Auto shoppers are increasingly discovering and evaluating potential car purchases online. Create seamless experiences for shoppers as they move across desktop and mobile devices.
  • Create content worth sharing: Auto consumers are discovering, sharing and connecting on social media. Create shareable and compelling branded content through video and help auto enthusiasts connect with one another through groups or social media outlets to drive awareness and brand loyalty.
  • Cultivate different content for different audiences: Consumers of different ages, genders and life stages want different automobile information. Ensure that your audience is at the center of your messaging and adapt it for different shoppers.

Finally, Facebook shared a campaign that Volkswagen crafted with creative agency Deutsch with the aim of getting music lovers to “rekindle love” for its Jetta model.

The social network said the campaign was made up of one-dozen video spots “that brought the Jetta to life by combining state-of-the-art 3D computer-generated design with a color palette inspired by the vehicle’s available 10-color ambient lighting system.”


Facebook said media-buying network PHD identified the Facebook family of apps, particularly Instagram Stories, as the best place to showcase the short-form content, and the campaign ended up 17 points above Volkswagen’s benchmark for ad recall and nine points for familiarity, pushing purchase intent up five points.

david.cohen@adweek.com David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.