Following a solid 22 months of sales for its zero emissions Leaf model, Nissan has begun two new marketing campaigns in a bid to not only maintain momentum, but to also make the electric car appeal to a wider range of consumers. But amid these recent ad campaigns, as well as one by rival Kia for its Soul EV involving its troupe of animated hamsters, we’re left wondering why Chevrolet hasn’t pushed its beloved Volt, or Spark EV for that matter.
According to iSpot (an organization that tracks advertising), Nissan has invested over $30 million promoting the Leaf for 2014. iSpot CEO Sean Muller in a statement to the website Autoblog Green elaborated on this finding saying: “Nissan spent more than $400 million in TV advertising for its traditional fuel fleet, and $22 million for the rechargeable Leaf. It has since dedicated an additional $9 million on its new “Kick Gas” campaign which first kicked off on November 3, shortly after news of the electronic sales slump broke.”
iSpot revealed that while the ads appeared predominately on CBS, Fox, and NBC, it still had a noticeable effect with viewers of college football, Gladiator, and The Rachel Maddow Show all being positively motivated by the ad. Nissan for its part claims that the ad campaign has so far been a success, and that it has actually helped increase sales of the Leaf for November. Meanwhile Kia and its recent hamster filled ad serves as a new entry into the fray, and iSpot estimates that Kia spent $15 million promoting the Kia Soul EV. Its slick visuals and fun marketing material certainly helps draw people in, but the new Soul EV still has limited availability in this country.
With such a lofty advertising bar being set in place by two of its key rivals, how has Chevrolet fared in advertising the Volt? It turns out not so well (and the sales go along with that) and that’s perhaps partially due to its more conservative approach in this arena versus the more aggressive styled favored by Kia and Nissan.
According to iSpot, Chevrolet only invested $2 million over a span of a few years to promote the plug-in hybrid Volt on TV along with 62 different online advertisements. Yes, the Volt is an older car, but then again so is the Leaf. Though, if GM is still losing money on every Volt sold, perhaps it’s for the best that the plug-in Chevrolet isn’t a sales star?
This all shouldn’t go without saying that Chevrolet plans on debuting the all-new, 2016 Volt at the 2015 New York International Auto Show in Detroit next month. To that end, the lack of marketing budget could simply be a shift in focus from the outgoing Volt to the new Volt. Hopefully this go-round, the marketing won’t just be a flash in the pan.