World Cup Advertising Drives Car Shoppers to Kia, Volkswagen


Automakers that advertised during the recent World Cup soccer tournament experienced twice the online consumer interest in their cars than did non-advertisers. The biggest surge came during the period when the United States was contending for a spot in the knockout round and its final game against Germany.

According to Kelley Blue Book (KBB), the website received more consumers researching advertised car brands Kia, Hyundai, Volkswagen and Nissan than non-advertisers. Kia and Volkswagen both received 18% more traffic from new car searches at in the week of June 22 through 28 than they did in the prior week. Kia was the World Cup’s official auto partner. Hyundai increased its new car searches by 14% and Nissan by 12% during the measured week.

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KBB analyst Arthur Henry said:

By creating entertaining, soccer-specific commercials, World Cup automotive advertisers Kia, Volkswagen, Hyundai and Nissan successfully generated interest around their brand and models, driving consumer research activity on Each advertiser also highlighted elements of the game that were relatable to the casual American soccer fan.

Hyundai Kia got a year-over-year sales boost of 8.3% in June and is forecast to see a jump of 10.4% in July. Volkswagen saw a gain of 3.5% in June sales, but the car maker continues to struggle in the United States. Nissan’s sales rose 7.7% year-over-year in June and are expected to jump 13.4% in July. Nissan sales month over month in July are expected to be up 12.8%, while Hyundai Kia is forecast to post a month-over-month gain of 7.5% and VW/Audi sales are forecast to rise 5.9%.

Those are very solid gains and month-over-month gains are particularly strong. The industry-wide forecast for month-over-month sales growth in July is just 3%.

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