Automakers Realize Christmas Ads This Year Are Useless

Luxury / Comments

Why spend money when inventory is so low?

We'll be seeing less auto-related Christmas ads this season as carmakers are saving their budgets for when they actually have vehicles to sell. They and dealers are tightening their belts during this global production crunch, reports Reuters. Most auto dealers are working with one-third of the vehicles they usually have on lots.

That means no Happy Hondadays, no 12 Deals of Christmas and there might not even be a Toyotathon this year! We've never actually bought a car during the holiday season, so we're not sure if the deals are actually good, but we do appreciate the funny names and good car commercials in general. In fact, the holidays are probably second to the Super Bowl in terms of clever ads.


"We will not be promoting the holiday season as we have been," said Rory Harvey, vice president of the Cadillac brand to Reuters. With the supply of vehicles at a third of normal levels, "why would you?"

Automakers this year are spending about 10% less than 2019, from late July to the end of October. That's a $23 million dip, according to Pathmatics. It also spent 5% less on broadcast television commercials, which is why we'll be seeing fewer Lexus RX SUVs with big red bows this year.

"Winter sales events are such an institutionalized event, that it's hard not to do them," said Kevin Krim, chief executive of advertising analysis and data company EDO. "But if they do their jobs really well, they could make people unhappy if the cars aren't there. It is a December to forget for the automakers."

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Ford is doing a holiday campaign this year, but only to promote the money makers: F-Series and SUVs. Lexus is continuing its December to Remember campaign, but the deals "won't be as compelling" as previous years. Even auto retail chain AutoNation is pulling back, spending less than even the pre-pandemic year.

Ultimately, it's the TV stations and companies that sell ads that are going to bear the brunt of this pocket tightening. By next year - we're putting our money down - this global chip shortage should be almost over and inventories should then be overflowing, along with the deals.

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Source Credits: Reuters

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