Each year, an overall “Best of Show” winner is selected from the winners of the IAEE Art of the Show Competition’s 15 individual categories. Last year, the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association took this honor with its entry in the Social Media Campaign: Over 200,001 nsf category for its New York International Auto Show held on 14-23 April 2017. Here, the Greater New York Automobile Dealers Association shares with IAEE some of the marketing strategies it employed in its award-winning social media campaign.
Each Spring, the New York International Auto Show attracts more than one million attendees to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center over the course of 10 days (two of which are open to the media). The show features 40 major auto manufacturers and more than 50 additional exhibitors in the automotive industry. Last year marked the 117th anniversary of the show, making it the longest-running and largest-attended auto show in North America. State Farm served as the title sponsor of the show, and there were more than 40 additional sponsors.
Social media has been a staple in the New York International Auto Show’s digital marketing efforts for several years. Its marketing team takes a “quality versus quantity” approach to using the various social media platforms available. While it utilizes Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat heavily during the show, it is strategic about using the various social media channels in a way that makes sense to its brand, attendees and messaging throughout its overall marketing campaign.
The New York International Auto Show targets a broad audience consisting of diverse demographics with differing reasons for attending the show. Attendees may be shopping for a new vehicle, looking to have a great day out or enjoying the latest automotive technology available. With this in mind, the social media campaign focused on the following areas:
- Reach its diverse audience through targeted messaging and content creation;
- Create pre-show awareness of what’s to come through exciting content, contests and interactive games; and
- Drive attendees to its website to purchase tickets.
“Each year, we design a piece of art which we call our poster art to set the tone of the next upcoming show,” said Marketing Manager Danielle Ludwig. “We use this poster as our signature art for that year and it is used in all of our marketing and advertising efforts, both digital and traditional. This year’s poster featured a question asking our attendees and followers ‘What’s Your Drive?’ This question was meant to bring forth the passion of the automotive industry, the joy of the drive and the excitement of cars.”
The artwork featured an exotic vehicle on the streets of New York City, the Ford GT. Ford collaborated with the show by taking photos of its GT specifically for the poster, providing exclusive video footage and tweeting about the poster, as well as sharing it on Instagram. A video was developed and used to drive the social media campaign into high gear using the “What’s Your Drive?” poster art to announce a social media giveaway for two individuals to win a weekend in NYC including hotel, VIP admission into the show for two days and auto show merchandise.
A “What’s Your Drive?” online GIF was developed and shared across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that allowed individuals to create their own moving graphic. Participants started by selecting a vehicle from six different choices followed by a road and a slogan, to create a customized miniature version of the show’s poster art. They then shared their creation in a contest for a chance to win show tickets and merchandise.
As part of its ongoing efforts to reach diverse communities, in 2017 the show wanted to give added attention to the female and Hispanic audiences. It created the DRIVEN video series which was also shared across social media platforms. The DRIVEN video series features short interviews with New York City influencers at the top of their fields in different industries including women in automotive, technology, photography/videography, Hispanic women and publishing.
And, of course, video on the show floor was a heavy hitter on Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat. Throughout the show, the marketing team was constantly recording what was happening on the show floor and keeping followers in touch with what was buzzing at the show.
The overall results were impressive for the New York International Auto Show. The social media campaign reached 1.76 billion social media impressions, a 3 percent increase over 2016. The show more than tripled its tracked ticket sales through social media. Exit surveys showed an increase in Hispanic attendees, reflecting a successful connection with one of its newer target audiences.
“The campaign’s performance exceeded all expectations, which tells us that our social media efforts and specific targeting worked,” notes Ludwig. “It helped get us to where we wanted to be and will help us strive for more in the future.”
The 2018 IAEE Art of the Show Competition is now underway – you have until 14 September 2018 to submit your entries!