SANTA MONICA, California — A major BMW advertising campaign during the 2016 Summer Olympics stimulated car shoppers' interest in the 2016-'17 BMW i3 electric hatchback, according to an Edmunds.com analysis.
Chevrolet also got a boost from advertising during the Olympics.
Even though several other automakers ran ads during the Games and conducted various other promotions around the event, BMW and Chevrolet were the only ones who enjoyed an immediate payoff on Edmunds.
"BMW and Chevrolet were able to catch consumer attention on a fairly consistent basis," said Jessica Caldwell, Edmunds.com executive director of industry insights.
BMW's ads touting its iPerformance models prompted car shoppers to seek more information about the i3 on Edmunds.com. Traffic lifts on Edmunds.com for the i3 rose 83 percent the first week and 56 percent the second week.
The biggest traffic lifts for BMW happened on the opening day of the Olympic Games on August 7 and during the first weekend.
A new version of the i3 electric hatchback with a more powerful battery and a longer range is priced at $44,595, including a $995 destination charge. It is on the way to BMW dealerships, targeting the Nissan Leaf and the upcoming 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Chevrolet vehicles, most notably the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu midsize sedan, also benefited from a major Olympic advertising push, according to the analysis.
During the first week of the Summer Games, Chevrolet's ads increased shopper interest in the Malibu by 18 percent. Interest in the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro coupe was up 12 percent, while interest in the Chevrolet Equinox SUV rose 6 percent.
Traffic growth slowed during the second week, but interest in the Malibu was still up by 12 percent over the baseline period, while interest in the Camaro was 7 percent higher than the baseline period.
Edmunds says: The ad investments made by BMW and Chevrolet are expected to drive showroom traffic in the future.