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    Allways With You

    For Saudis, the new automotive showroom is digital


    Aug 22, 2023

    Digital platforms serve communities with entertaining ways to gain knowledge of vocations and passions. TikTok has played a decisive role in moving education to edutainment. The automotive industry is a sector that has been leveraging this phenomenon more and more. Serving relevant and in-depth content on new models, tests, technologies, or offers, TikTok’s Auto community inspires potential buyers in the complex purchase decision of a vehicle; a decision that can take up to six months. TikTok’s #saudicars and #سيارات-السعودية hashtags have gathered over 51 million views combined.

    Building a community and adopting a two-way communication model is the most effective way to humanize brands. The Automotive industry has realized that greater interaction with consumers is the key to making them comfortable and willing to engage on a deeper level. In fact, an automative industry global research report conducted by Walnut Unlimited found that 4 in 5 users developed a more positive opinion of a car after seeing it on TikTok. Having that interaction with consumers be entertaining captures their hearts and minds. While TikTok is the type of entertainment that is worth peoples’ time, and inspires action. Commonly triggered actions include booking, cooking, trying, reading, or driving. Walnut’s Unlimited research report also found that almost 2 in 3 TikTok users have discovered or been inspired to find out more about a car after seeing something on TikTok. Brands have found that through entertaining content they’re able to differentiate in a competitive market.

    In a recent campaign, GMC’s dealership in Saudi Arabia, Aljomaih Automotive, utilized the TikTok Creative Exchange (TTCX) to position women as potential pick-up truck drivers. This move came in response to the recent transformative shift in the kingdom’s social and cultural norms, particularly surrounding gender equality and opportunity. Aljomaih Automotive collaborated with D65, a TTCX creative partner, to develop videos that questioned the notion that trucks are only for men, and showcased the GMC Sierra as a pro-women drive. Aljomaih’s campaign outperformed KSA automotive benchmarks in watch time, cost per result, and video completion rates. The campaign contributed to a +38% increase in women’s leads specific to the Sierra GMC, and a +11% increase in trucks sold and registered by female drivers. The unique creative approach generated viral content and thought-provoking discussions, resulting in more chatter around the brand.

    In another example, KIA Motors in Saudi Arabia partnered with TikTok to showcase the all-new KIA Sonet using bespoke creator content and TikTok solutions such as TopViews and in-feed ads, emphasizing the importance of ‘mom’s approval’ for the kingdom’s youth. The campaign leveraged the emotional connection mothers hold in the Arab world, as trusted advisors and decision-makers in major purchases. Teaming up with popular creator Mito AlShamsi, KIA created a series of videos demonstrating why his mother approved of the KIA Sonet, achieving a powerful regional endorsement even before its official launch.

    As the new source of creator-led, sound-on entertainment, TikTok creates opportunities for OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and dealerships. In a sound-obsessed industry, the platform builds authentic connections and triumphs in the crowded race for attention. Such connections make the process of purchasing a car more fun and less stressful. Auto buyers can consult the community for expert guidance, the latest updates, and the pros and cons of models, to eventually make a well-informed decision on the wheels of dreams.

    According to an Automotive Industry Deep Dive report conducted by Redseer, TikTok is strongly preferred as a digital media platform throughout Saudi users’ car purchase journey, particularly among Gen Z users. Thus, for automotive dealers and manufacturers, creator-led marketing on TikTok opens a new world of creative and engaging ways to generate local buzz. However, brands must attend to a few areas: understanding the value of authentic vs polished content, ensuring optimal creator choice and video length, understanding trending sounds, etc. But creators and motoring enthusiasts filming point-of-view test drives, narrating and explaining vehicle features, or offering tips and tricks on negotiating an after-service package, can all add to the joy of buying a new vehicle. The power of popular and trending hashtags also adds to the appeal of digital platforms as the ultimate destination for car buyers to depend on.

    For TikTok, the rapid growth of its engaging and passionate automotive community and key hashtags in Saudi Arabia is a further validation of its reputation as the authentic virtual showroom that inspires, informs, and entertains a wide cross-section of users in the region, and speaks their language to bring a community together.

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