Car Advertisement Examples: 5 High Performance Facebook Auto Ads

June 7, 2024

With the automotive buyer journey having gone digital, a significant chunk of car buyers (71%) use social media to support the purchase process. 

And when it comes to social networks, Facebook (Meta) still reigns supreme for audience reach with over 3 billion monthly active users.  

Plus, as much as 80% of potential vehicle buyers visit Facebook during the research phase. 

These figures spell good news for automotive brands and dealerships that can use Facebook to reach a diverse audience–prospective auto buyers, hand-risers, in-market shoppers and current vehicle owners.

Reaching the right leads at the right time, however, is an altogether different story. 

That's where Facebook ads come into play. 

Strategic ad targeting and spends help you attract high-quality automotive leads. 

It does involve a lot of planning, real-time optimisation and, most importantly, experimenting with different ideas. So, in this blog, we've put together five best-performing Facebook ad formats with real examples to fuel your idea machine. 

That's not all. 

We also discuss top tips and best practices so you can make the most of your Facebook automotive marketing campaigns and generate high quality leads. Let's dive in!

Facebook ad formats with tips to maximise effectiveness 1. Lead AdsPersonalise and qualify Set expectations right Experiment with campaign typesTrack leads to optimise qualityEnable data protection 2. Automotive Inventory AdsExperiment with product setsCollect leads faster with lead forms3. Video AdsCapture attention (very) quicklyExplore different bidding options Retarget for better recall 4. Instant Experience AdsCombine with lead ads Use multiple content formats Keep it simple5. Messenger AdsUse a purposeful chat flow Be friendlyDeploy tools to manage conversations
Facebook ad formats with tips to maximise effectiveness 

A. Facebook Lead Ads for automotive

Facebook Lead Ads simplify your lead generation process by streamlining the form-fill experience, driving qualified leads and improving the user journey. 

This format is particularly rewarding for mobile devices. Users just tap your ad and the lead form appears with their pre-populated Facebook contact details, like in MG Motor's ad below.

Source: MG Motor Mumbai South

Plus, you can easily integrate lead details into your CRM using lead management systems such as Driftrock. 

Facebook Lead Ads also have a specific set of features for automotive businesses. 

For example, interested buyers filling out your form can be moved further along the buyer journey by helping them 'locate a dealer'. 

Alternatively, leads can choose to call or message a preferred dealer after submitting their details. 

Most of our clients see immense success with this format. Facebook Lead ads outperform landing pages with a reduced cost per lead of 50% and an increase in lead volume of 200%.

Hot tips for Facebook Lead Ads 

  1. Personalise and qualify 

Customise your forms to capture the information that matters most to you. This also helps qualify leads better. 

Source: MG Motor Mumbai South

For instance, in MG's form, the dealership asks leads when they intend to purchase a car. 

That's because leads looking to buy a car in the next three months are more likely to convert than those taking a longer time. 

You can also qualify high-intent leads by adding friction with more questions on the form. 

Questions to qualify high intent leads (Source: Facebook)

  1. Set expectations right 

Add a custom welcome message to your lead form, showing buyers exactly what they're signing up for. It sets the right expectations as they know what happens after they submit the form. 

It avoids wasting ad budget on low-quality leads and instils trust amongst buyers.

  1. Mix it up

You can use Facebook Lead Ads for various purposes–brochure requests, test drive bookings, locating nearby dealerships and more. 

Experiment with them for different types of campaigns to reach potential buyers and optimise the performance. 

  1. Track leads to optimise quality

Use Conversion API to bypass third-party cookies to track your leads and lead quality.

You can share CRM data about your leads with Facebook. The platform understands better quality leads and optimises lead ads to attract similar prospects. 

  1. Enable data protection 

You can add multiple consent options within Facebook lead forms. This is critical for following data security and protection laws across the globe (such as GDPR and CCPA). 

You can also add custom disclaimers to inform people how their data will be used.  

B. Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads

Facebook offers Automotive Inventory Ads specifically for OEMs and dealerships to sell their new and used car inventory. This format is incredibly effective as it focuses on in-market car buyers having high intent. 

Source: Facebook

To show the right automotive inventory ads to the right people, Facebook uses:

  • Information from your catalogue (like the make, model, year and pricing)
  • Meta pixel on your website
  • Audience interests and engagement 

Since these ads appear as a catalogue (as is visible in Porsche's example above), you don't need to create individual ads for each product.

You can also retarget leads who were previously interested in your products and leverage lookalike audiences to reach more prospects.


Hot tips for Facebook Automotive Inventory Ads

  1. Experiment with product sets

Test creating automotive inventory ads for specific product sets, aligned with your audience interests.

These sets could be either specific models, entire ranges, or even vehicle categories (like 'family car' or 'saloon') promoted to particular audience segments. 

  1. Collect leads faster with lead forms 

While automotive inventory ads redirect users to your website, you can also connect them to a lead form (like Porsche does).

Source: Facebook

Buyers need less effort to fill in their details than scrolling through the website and finding a form or even picking up the phone to call you. It ensures they take a quick action towards purchase. 

C. Facebook Video Ads for automotive

Videos are extremely popular today because they tell a story about your vehicles, adding life to the content. It’s also why visitors spend 50% of their time on Facebook and Instagram watching videos. 

As an automotive business, there's a lot you can do by showcasing different concepts—vehicle launches, features, educational content, behind-the-scenes clips, testimonials and more. 

And, you have access to multiple formats like 'in-stream' and 'feed' for both short and long-form video ads. 

Here's a good example of Volkswagen using short-form, vertical video (great for mobile devices) to capture attention. 

Source: Facebook

This topical video ad for Christmas, with a stop motion format, is snackable and enjoyable for viewers. 

On the other hand, Toyota USA takes the long-form route with a dash of humour.

Source: Facebook

Even though the ad is longer than a minute, the concept and human element keep up the excitement and laughs, encouraging viewers to stay glued to the end. 

Hot tips for Facebook Video Ads

  1. Capture attention (very) quickly

Your videos must capture viewer attention quickly within the first three seconds. Feature your brand, vehicle or message during this time to maximise visibility and keep the viewers engaged.  

  1. Explore different bidding options 

Optimise your video ad campaigns for video views using the ThruPlay performance goal on Facebook. 

ThruPlay looks for audiences who are more likely to watch your video for at least 15 seconds—particularly useful for long-form videos. 

You can also attach videos to other ad objectives like Facebook Lead Ads and Website Conversions to boost lead generation. 

  1. Retarget for better recall 

Facebook allows you to retarget people who watch your video ads. Use this feature to increase brand recall and lead quality.

D. Facebook Instant Experience Ads for automotive

Facebook Instant Experience (previously Canvas) is an ad type exclusive to mobile devices. It lets you showcase products in an immersive full-screen experience, capturing the audience's attention. 

You can use instant experiences for specific models, the entire range or even share a virtual tour of your local dealership. 

Users have dynamic interactions with elements within the instant experience, which only makes it all the more engaging. 

At the end, you can redirect leads to forms or your website with clear CTAs. 

Vauxhall leverages the instant experience ad to drive awareness and conversions for its latest range of electric vehicles.

Source: Facebook

The brand smartly deploys multiple content formats like video, carousel and images to highlight the range's features and pricing. 

Skoda uses the Facebook instant experience to give leads a more interactive experience when configuring the Karoq. 

Source: Punctum

Primarily using carousels, users can customise the configurations and view the final product's exterior as well as interiors.  

Hot tips for Facebook Instant Experience Ads

  1. Combine with lead ads 

The instant experience format is a rich visual experience suitable for awareness campaigns. You can go one step further and generate highly qualified leads by mating it to Facebook lead ads. 

Facebook lead ads come with instant forms, which not only capture leads quickly but also retarget previously interested leads and lookalike audiences. 

  1. Use multiple content formats 

Video is at the forefront of popular content formats and, therefore, must be a part of your instant experience ad. But you can also add a little extra magic with a combination of images, text boxes and carousels.  

  1. Keep it simple

It's important to remember, though, that your ad's primary goal is to drive people towards the desired next action.

Using simple design elements eases user navigation and improves the click-through rate on your CTA. 

E. Facebook Messenger Ads for automotive

Conversational marketing is a popular choice for audiences to connect with businesses today.

As much as 74% of online adults feel more connected to a brand that they can message directly. And 66% are more likely to purchase from a company they can contact through messages. 

One of the ways that you can use conversational marketing is via Facebook Messenger. 

To generate leads with Messenger, use 'click to message' ads. When an interested buyer clicks on the CTA, they're directed to your inbox. 

You can either engage in real-time conversations or use message templates. Plus, you can share large volumes of information to nurture leads within Messenger (without switching to another app or website). 

The best thing is that you can be available round the clock, including weekends, and never miss out on leads.

In the following example, Audi used Facebook Messenger to engage leads with an interactive experience fully. 

Source: Facebook

The brand created several video ads with the CTA 'click to message'. Those who clicked were redirected to Audi's Messenger, where they could seamlessly book a test drive or request a quote for used cars. 

Hot tips for Facebook Messenger Ads

  1. Use a purposeful chat flow 

Using 'click to Messenger' ads just for the sake of providing a different experience isn't the right approach. Ensure that the experience leads have after being redirected to your Messenger is purposeful and not gimmicky. 

For instance, you can't have leads messaging you, hoping to have their queries answered but instead redirected immediately to your website (which is outside the platform). 

  1. Be friendly

Messenger is primarily popular because it can recreate a real human interaction as closely as possible. 

Understand the tone of voice your audience is most likely going to respond well to. You can then develop the right copy for the conversation flow, encouraging audiences to engage with you freely. 

  1. Deploy tools to manage conversations

Tools like Driftrock's Automotive Chat Assistant simplify and scale the execution process for you. 

The chat assistant takes over once the user clicks on the ad and is redirected to your inbox. It can perform multiple actions, including helping leads decide on a model, enquiring about the vehicle, sharing the location of the nearest dealership and more. 

Once the lead shares their details, Driftrock automatically validates the information and adds it to your preferred marketing platform. 

Best practices for automotive lead generation ads on Facebook

While we've covered the key tips for each format, there is still much more you can do to ace Facebook ad campaigns. 

So, we dove deeper into the above examples and here are some of the best practices that we found: 

  1. Know that relevance is key 

All of the ads we've seen in this blog are well-planned, well-executed and data-driven campaigns using effective targeting strategies. It's one way of ensuring that your ad is highly relevant to a lead (shown at the right time to the right person). 

A good relevance score puts you in a better position to reach wider audiences at optimised costs, increasing your ROI.

Plus, retargeting helps. Interested buyers who started to interact with your ad or fill out the lead form but never completed the action are primed for purchase. Stoke their intent with ads relevant to their interests and encourage them to finish your form.

It's not just targeting, however. Your content and creatives also need to be on point. 

The ad copy should be engaging and follow a tone of voice that your audiences are familiar with, compelling them to click on your CTA. 

  1. Keep mobile at the forefront

Most digital platforms are moving towards mobile-friendly experiences as more and more people use smartphones for shopping and browsing online. 

For automotive, this means optimising ads for mobile as over 98% of Facebook users access the platform via their smartphones. 

You need to use ad assets (including images, videos and ad copy) that meet mobile requirements for each campaign. For instance, a short copy is easier to consume on a small screen.

  1. Test, learn, optimise 

Facebook advertising is tricky and complicated, and you may not get some things right. That's why it's recommended to test your ad campaigns.  

Most successful ads, including the ones we've listed in this blog, are a result of meticulous data analysis and a series of trials and errors. 

To ensure your ads achieve business goals, test different variations with multiple ad sets. You can test the ad copy, format, placements, CTA, audience segments, images, videos, offers and more. 

Next, monitor your ad performance. You can check their click-through rates (CTR), engagement, conversion rates, and even return on ad spend (ROAS) in real time. 

Reviewing your ads is also an incredible source of insights about your audience and strategies. 

As long as you're consistently testing, learning and optimising your ad campaigns, you can maximise their impact. 

  1. Automate for efficiency 

Setting up Facebook ad campaigns and monitoring incoming leads can be an extensive, time-consuming effort. It leaves space for manual errors and delays in responding to interested buyers. Instead, you can streamline your ad campaigns by deploying automation.

Driftrock sets you up for multiple ad campaigns across several locations. 

You can upload and maintain a list of dealerships, letting Driftrock automatically assign dealers to leads. You can also use the same database to allow customers to choose their preferred dealership location. 

Moreover, Driftrock collects and validates lead data, blocking invalid leads from entering your CRM. 

Lead Analysis & Tracking, coupled with the Live Lead Reporting Dashboard, share incredible, granular insights. Use these insights to optimise current as well as future campaigns. 

Additionally, you can adapt campaigns to attract high-quality leads. The feature lets you track which campaigns generate the best leads from desired actions like 'book a test drive', 'buying a car in the next few months' and ‘actual car purchases’.

Power up automotive lead generation with Facebook Ads 

Automotive brands and dealerships are successfully leveraging Facebook ads to generate leads and increase engagement. 

The examples and tips we discussed highlight the importance of targeting the right audience by understanding their interests and pain points. Use them as a guide to build out an effective Facebook ad strategy for automotive marketing and lead generation. 

But you don't have to stop there. 

Driftrock’s automotive marketing platform can push your campaigns to newer heights through automated lead management, validation, tracking and analysis in real time. 

Make the most you can of these ideas to create some incredible Facebook ad magic!

Driftrock has worked with 46 automotive brands and hundreds of dealerships across 12 markets globally to improve their automotive marketing efforts. The results our clients see are phenomenal—over $270 million in New Vehicle Sales in the past 12 months alone.

Sign up for The Driftrock Accelerator for an insider's view into how we help auto businesses achieve marketing success. Book a demo to learn more.