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Press Release

Rocket Fuel’s Latest Research Reveals 5 Essential Insights to Optimize Automotive Advertising

Applies Big Data Wisdom to Address $5 Billion+ in Digital Automotive Ad Spending

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 07, 2014 – Rocket Fuel (NASDAQ: FUEL), a leading provider of artificial intelligence (AI) advertising solutions for digital marketers, today announced the findings of its latest research, The 5 Keys to Optimal Auto Creative in a Programmatic World. The research, available as a complimentary download, provides automotive advertisers with important insights into developing optimal advertising that drives real results from their digital marketing investments.

According to eMarketer, the US automotive industry will have spent $5.07 billion in 2013 on paid digital advertising, with that total expected to rise to $7.80 billion by 2017. Rocket Fuel’s groundbreaking research analyzed over 7,000 unique automotive creative ads served across 1.74 billion display ad impressions on behalf of automotive advertisers in Q4 2013, and classified them based on their relative ability to drive clicks (CTR) vs. conversions* (CVR) based on several criteria, including:

• The call to action in the ad
• The display of pricing information
• The display of special offers
• The background color of the ad
• Whether the ad featured the car or a human face
• The vehicle’s type, color, and motor type

Among the study’s key findings:

Price is more important than special offers. Advertising that displays the price of the car without promotional offers performed the best of any ad type. In general, automotive advertisements that show special offers generate fewer clicks or conversions.
Safety and Reliability messaging drives greater conversion activity than Horsepower.
Customization (the ability to build your own car) drives action. When consumers were exposed to an ad with the call to action of “Build Your Own” they converted 116% more often.
Black cars improve conversion rates over any other color. 
CTR is not an effective metric to judge the performance of automotive ads. For nearly every criteria analyzed, the study shows an inverse relationship between clicks and conversions.
“This study shows how Big Data can be applied to deliver valuable insights for advertisers,” said Eric Porres, CMO of Rocket Fuel. “Automotive advertisers spend millions on creative development and billions on digital ad spend. In a world where ROI is paramount, this analysis gives automotive advertisers and their creative and media agencies a unique opportunity to optimize their digital advertising for the best results possible. Moreover, it provides a roadmap for auto advertisers to examine the efficacy of their creative messages in non-digital (e.g. print, out-of-home, television) formats.”

A summary presentation of the research may be downloaded here.

*Conversion = success in achieving the advertiser’s campaign objective. This might refer to building a car online, locating a dealer, or signing up for a test drive.

About Rocket Fuel
Rocket Fuel delivers a leading programmatic media-buying platform at Big Data scale that harnesses the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve marketing ROI in digital media across web, mobile, video, and social channels. Rocket Fuel powers digital advertising and marketing programs globally for customers in North America, Europe, and Japan. Customers trust Rocket Fuel's Advertising That Learns® platform to achieve brand and direct-response objectives in diverse industries from luxury cars to groceries to retail. Rocket Fuel currently operates in 20 offices worldwide and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the ticker symbol "FUEL." For more information, please visit http://www.rocketfuel.com or call 1-888-717-8873.