Automakers are targeting millennials with TV ads, social media campaigns and in-game sponsorships, hoping to gain mind-share in a consumer segment that is buying fewer cars than previous generations. By reaching out now, car companies can establish a positive relationship and a "lifetime customer progression" with these consumers so they are more likely to buy from a specific brand once they reach their 30s, said Nissan's Vinay Shahani, U.S. director of marketing communications.

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