4 ways auto marketers can rev up for road trip season

Two ladies on a roadtrip

Autos as heroes

As Pinners map out their plans, they’re also looking for ideas on what to bring and how to fit it all into their cars. They’re searching for “road trip packing” (up 237% YoY) and “road trip essentials for teens” (up 65% YoY).4 People are also seeking out socially distant things to do at their destinations. Searches are up for both “kayaking” (+21% YoY) and “boats” (+80% YoY).5

Cars have played the hero in a trend no one saw coming: helping people celebrate special occasions with friends and family. Among Millennials, we’ve seen a 197% increase YoY in “drive by birthday parade” searches.6 Younger generations aren’t being left out either. Searches for “graduation car decor” have increased 4.7x and “graduation car parade ideas” are up 12x.7

"Car dates" driving relationships

Even before COVID-19, Pinners had a special relationship with their cars. Some 84% of weekly Pinners who engage with auto content and have purchased a luxury car say their luxury car is an extension of their life.8 And 93% say they like to spend time in their luxury vehicles.9  

No surprise then that during the pandemic, searches for “car date ideas” increased 210% YoY, as Pinners sought inspiration for quality couple time.10 And searches for “truck bed date” increased 180%.11

Gas prices are still low. The desire to get back on the road is high.

Here are four ways that your brand can help Pinners as they shift their lives back into drive:

1. New deals on new wheels

For Pinners looking for a new car, let them know about your latest offers and incentives. Nearly half of new vehicle shoppers who’ve delayed purchase say they will be ready to buy within one month when local shelter restrictions are lifted.12 An equal amount say they’d be in the market sooner if they find a deal or incentive they can’t refuse.13

2. Make it easy to get going

Let Pinners know how your vehicle’s features will make their travel plans easier. They’re ready to listen: 58% of Pinners who’ve recently purchased or plan to purchase a vehicle want to learn more about vehicle features they and their families use most.14 Share details on your advanced trailering cameras to help launch the boat—or on the cargo area power outlets to help everyone plug in when they’re far from home.

3. Get them ready for the road

Some Pinners’ cars have been in park for a while, so they may need a little extra attention. There’s been a dramatic rise in calls for dead car battery service, says the AAA.15 Help Pinners get their vehicles road-ready with service offers and maintenance tips before they pull out into traffic.

4. Inspire their celebrations

Help Pinners think of ways to trick out their vehicles and show their loved ones how they feel. Give them car parade decoration ideas, or invite your fans to share photos of their own unique car accessories to inspire others. You’ll score points for being useful.

All signs point to a steady return to our cars. Now’s the time for auto brands to reach consumers with the right messages. Those that help people get back into the driver’s seat have a unique opportunity to build affinity and even market share. 

—John Gray, currently saving to Auto Marketing

 

1Arrivalist, Daily Travel Index, May 2020, US, Friday 

2Pinterest internal data, April 25-May 24 2019 compared to April 25-May 24 2020, US

3Pinterest internal data, April 25-May 24 2019 compared to April 25-May 24 2020, US

4Pinterest internal data, April 25-May 24 2019 compared to April 25-May 24 2020, US

5Pinterest internal data, May 4-May 17 2020 compared to April 20 - May 3 2020, US

6Pinterest internal data, US, March 23 - April 5 2020 compared to April 6-April 19 2020

7Pinterest internal data, US, March 23 - April 5 2020 compared to April 6-April 19 2020

8Pinterest CSpace custom research, June 2019, US

9Pinterest CSpace custom research, June 2019, US

10Pinterest internal data, March 15-April 14 2020 compared to February 13-March 14 2020, US

11Pinterest internal data, March 15-April 14 2020 compared to February 13-March 14 2020, US

12Cox Automotive COVID-19 digital shopping study 2.0, 2020, US

13Cox Automotive COVID-19 digital shopping study 2.0, 2020, US

14DB5/Pinterest custom research study among Pinterest users who bought a vehicle in the past 6 months or plan to buy a new vehicle within 6 months, 2018, US,

15CBS Baltimore, “AAA Says Nearly Half Of Its Service Calls in April Were For Dead Car Batteries,” May 2020, US