From the editor: Games, martians and monsters

Colin Grimshaw

The Admap Focus in this month's issue is Marketing Cars. For most people, a car is the second most costly purchase they will ever make. It is a high-ticket and high-margin business, which is why manufacturers spent around $45 billion in 2011 on advertising cars (Nielsen Global AdView Pulse Spotlight on Motor Cars), accounting for 7.9% of all global advertising expenditure.

But, the nature of car advertising is changing fast. The perennial TV ad – the scenic twisting drive across an Alpine autobahn – to tease the viewer into the showroom to experience the thrill of the ride himself is sometimes giving way to, or being supplemented by, digital interactive executions where 'drivers' can have the experience immediately.

An example is a gaming execution that creates an interactive driving experience within the ad itself. This development has been partly inspired by a desire to engage more with young drivers – avid gamers, for whom the gaming experience can blur into reality. This strategy has been adopted by prestige marques, keen to broaden the appeal of their 'staid' cars to younger, affluent drivers.