Road Trip: Pinners Hit the Gas on Car-Related Pinterest Searches

Users also eyed shorter journeys, like drive-by birthday parades and graduations

Car journeys during Memorial Day Weekend saw volume up more than 70% compared with normal summer volume kali9/iStock

As the stay-at-home orders related to Covid-19 begin to lift, road trips have become the rage, with people still reluctant to travel by airplane for numerous reasons.

Pinterest cited data from the Arrivalist Daily Travel Index showing that car journeys during Memorial Day Weekend saw volume up more than 70% compared with normal summer volume for many destinations.

Global automotive strategy lead John Gray pointed out in a blog post that Pinners are eyeing more sparsely populated destinations.

Citing Pinterest data for April 25 through May 24, compared with the same dates in 2019, Gray said searches for Utah road trip are up 30% year-over-year, while South Dakota road trip is up 25% and national park road trip up 11%.

During the same time period, Pinterest searches for road trip packing surged 237%, while road trip essentials for teens was up 65%.

And comparing May 4 through 17 with April 20 through May 3, searches for boats are up 80%, while kayaking saw a 21% jump.

Cars are being used for much shorter trips, too. Gray wrote that when comparing Pinterest data for April 6 through 19 with that for March 23 through April 5, there was a 197% increase in searches for drive-by birthday parade, while searches for graduation car décor were up 4.7 times and graduation car parade ideas were up 12 times.

Gray noted that even before the coronavirus pandemic began, 84% of weekly Pinners who engage with auto content and purchased luxury cars said those vehicles were extensions of their lives, and 93% liked to spend time in those vehicles.

After the Covid-19 crisis took hold, searches for car date ideas shot up 210% year-over-year, while those for truck bed date were up 180%.

Gray offered four tips for marketers looking to court car-crazy Pinners:

  1. New deals on new wheels: For Pinners looking for a new car, let them know about your latest offers and incentives. Nearly one-half of new vehicle shoppers who’ve delayed purchase say they will be ready to buy within one month when local shelter restrictions are lifted. An equal amount say they’d be in the market sooner if they find a deal or incentive they can’t refuse.
  2. Make it easy to get going: Let Pinners know how your vehicle’s features will make their travel plans easier. They’re ready to listen: 58% of Pinners who’ve recently purchased or plan to purchase a vehicle want to learn more about vehicle features they and their families use most. Share details on your advanced trailering cameras to help launch the boat—or on the cargo area power outlets to help everyone plug in when they’re far from home.
  3. Get them ready for the road: Some Pinners’ cars have been in park for a while, so they may need a little extra attention. There’s been a dramatic rise in calls for dead car battery service, says AAA. Help Pinners get their vehicles road-ready with service offers and maintenance tips before they pull out into traffic.
  4. Inspire their celebrations: Help Pinners think of ways to trick out their vehicles and show their loved ones how they feel. Give them car parade decoration ideas, or invite your fans to share photos of their own unique car accessories to inspire others. You’ll score points for being useful.

He concluded, “All signs point to a steady return to our cars. Now’s the time for auto brands to reach consumers with the right messages. Those that help people get back into the driver’s seat have a unique opportunity to build affinity and even market share.” David Cohen is editor of Adweek's Social Pro Daily.