Car Tours on YouTube: How Video Trends Influence Car Buyers

In part one of our three-part automotive series, ZEFR Insights explored the idea of “mindsets” and “moments” through the lens of the “car surprises” trend. Here, in part two, we expand on this idea by looking closely at two more automotive trends on YouTube: “Car Tours” and “What’s in My Car?” videos.

People come to YouTube for many things, but whatever they are looking for, they arrive with something in mind. At ZEFR, we refer to this as a “mindset.” These mindsets, which ZEFR is able to pinpoint by using contextual targeting, create the perfect opportunity for brands to align with the most relevant content. For example, if someone is planning a trip and comes to YouTube in search of destinations, tips, or hotel recommendations, a relevant brand’s advertisement running along with a “Travel Essentials” video trend transforms the ad into useful information. In this way, the ad is more likely to engage the viewer as it is an extension of their research and not an interruption.

The same thing, of course, is true of consumers in search of a new (or used) car. If an automotive brand seeks to earn back their investment in advertising on YouTube, there is no more effective route than through contextual targeting. Finding that right person, at the right time, watching the right content, and in the right mindset was once a dream of ad execs working exclusively in television. That dream is now a reality and readily available to brands on YouTube.

Trends such as “Car Tours” and “What’s In My Car?” are precisely the videos automakers should seek when looking to align with the right consumer in the right mindset.


Car Tours

Much like room tours, a car tour is about showcasing a space. In this case, people film parts of their car, highlighting aspects of which they like, or dislike. Everyone has been in a situation where they’ve gone to a dealership and had a salesman guide them through what a car has to offer. Why not skip the sales pitch entirely and seek out genuine opinions from the car owners themselves, right the comfort of your own home?

They can be short and include car-related DIYs, like this one from Tanamontana100:

Or they can be longer and more in-depth, like this 2011 Rolls-Royce Ghost tour from Bobaklives:


“What’s in My Car?”

Similar to “What’s in My Bag?” videos that garner millions of views for beauty vloggers, “What’s in My Car?” videos involve someone going through the things they keep in all of the available places to store things in automobiles. Hint: Glove compartments aren’t just for gloves anymore. They can look a lot like a car tour, but instead of a critique of the car itself, these videos are more about the drivers and their particular habits and preferences. These videos can give a potential customer a close up and personalized guided tour through all of the compartments on offer on a particular model.

Sometimes they can involve helpful tips on what to keep in your car, and how to organize it, like this one from MissCrystal:



For someone looking to buy a car, YouTube serves up a wealth of information. Before they head into a dealership for a test drive, they can find out what ordinary people really think of a particular car. A dealer will tell someone about the car’s gas mileage, and how it compares to similar models, but on YouTube people can see authentic engagement with a vehicle’s features from unbiased vloggers and car owners. For those who already own a car, there is plenty of content offering advice about everything from what to keep in case of an emergency to what microfiber cloth is the best interior cleaner for dog owners. The miracle of YouTube is just how deeply you can dig down into a topic as broad as “cars” or “autos” and come away with knowledge that is not only useful, but highly targeted and authentic.

Stay tuned for Part Three in the Auto on YouTube series, which features car DIYs and repairs.


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