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February 15, 2024

Do Automotive Brands' Super Bowl Ads Match Their Online Reputations?

Four automakers signed the $7M check for an ad slot last night: Toyota, BMW, Kia and Volkswagen. Does their customer feedback support their ad ambitions?

Four automakers signed the $7M check for an ad slot last night: Toyota, BMW, Kia and Volkswagen. Does their customer feedback support their ad ambitions?

Toyota → "Dareful Handle"

Reputation Rank: #2/32 OEMs

Toyota came in #2 in Widewail's Brand Reputation Scorecard Report (#1 in non-luxury), with a reputation health score of 94/100, just behind Lexus.

Notably, its negative reviews mentioning pricing are 13% above the industry benchmark. Will going to market with a $65,000 Tacoma hurt that metric for them?

BMW "Talkin Like Walken"

Reputation Rank: #3/32 OEMs

BMW's reputation is "the real deal." Ranked #3 out of 32 brands, BMW has a reputation health score of 91 on the back of an impressive 18.96 monthly reviews per dealership and a rating of 4.6 stars.

For BMW, wait time is a strength, mentioned in 11.86% fewer negative reviews vs. industry benchmarks. But friendliness is a weakness, mentioned in 9.24% fewer positive reviews.

Kia "EV9 is Here"

Reputation Rank: #6/32 OEMs

Kia's reputation ranks 6th, with a health score of 83.

The contents of Kia customer reviews match or outperform the industry benchmark in the 10 topics Widewail’s research has determined to be most influential on a brand's reputation.

These topics minimize negativity:

  • Communication
  • Service
  • Repair
  • Wait time
  • Price

These topics maximize positivity:

  • Staff
  • Sales
  • Professionalism
  • Knowledge
  • Friendliness

One standout: Kia's positive mentions of the Sales Department outperform the industry by 16.28%.


Volkswagen "An American Love Story"

Reputation Rank: #7/32 OEMs

At #7, Volkswagen has the lowest-performing reputation of the brands that advertised but is still ahead of 80% of the industry.

Volkswagen's customers may have a love affair with their cars, but Volkswagen's repair and wait time mentions are particularly negative.

Negative mentions of repair are 13.29% above the industry benchmark, and negative mentions of wait time are 11.26% above the industry benchmark.

Their customers have spoken, and each of these brands is among the automotive industry's top tier of online reputations.

You would do well to model your reputation strategy after any of these brands (but don’t forget about Lexus, who didn’t advertise during Super Bowl LVIII but boasts the #1 reputation health score).

To find the full automotive rankings, check out the Brand Scorecard Report.

Or check out the top dealers by state and/or city for a local competitive perspective.

Download the 2024 Widewail Brand Scorecard Rport

Jake Hughes

I’m the Director of Marketing here at Widewail, as well as a husband and new dad outside the office. I'm in Vermont by way of Boston, where I grew the CarGurus YouTube channel from 0 to 100k subscribers. I love the outdoors and hate to be hot, so I’m doing just fine in the arctic Vermont we call home. Fun fact: I met my wife on the shuttle bus at Baltimore airport. Thanks for reading Widewail’s content!

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