Television Is Still the Best Place to Advertise!

retro portable television

It seems cool to say you are moving your dealerships advertising budget to the internet and yet at the end of the day, the actual results are still coming from television. The internet gets most of the attention these days, but dealers that are big users in television are still the ones generating the largest sales numbers.

Viewers still spend a staggering four and a half hours a day watching television, with an amazing 99 percent of the homes in this country owning at least one television set. Even today many U.S. homes still don’t even use a computer.
Nothingis more convincing than television for automotive. However, with all the strength in this powerful medium, dealers are still having difficulty dealing with the costs of airtime and producing good commercials.

When I first started talking to dealers about television in the early 70s, TV’s biggest competitor was newspaper. I would often times tell dealers that TV allows you to show your dealership to a large audience and gives you the opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of owning one car versus another. Television can convey your message with sight, sound, and motion. Yes, internet and print can also do that, but TV is the best medium to engage the customer.

If used properly, TV gives you a chance to isolate your audience into defined category profiles, not just limited to demographic groups. The key to begin the process is to develop a great script for your message. A good script will start with a strong compelling offer and provide something for the consumer to remember. Many dealers will simply call the cable company or the TV station and have them produce a commercial, which will often end up being a cheap, unprofessional, weak spot. Quite often the TV stations and cable companies will lure dealers in by offering free production to get a bigger share of the buy, which in most cases is worth just what the dealer paid for it.

If a dealer is willing to invest millions of dollars on their property, they should be willing to pay for production of the best commercial possible. When the dealer produces a cheap bad commercial, it can have a negative effect on the image of that store and can actually do damage to the reputation of the dealership.

So as you make plans for 2012, think about the medium that will allow you to stand out amongst the competitive dealers in your market and gain instant credibility. If you are considering television this year, hire a professional ad agency who understands how to maximize your effectiveness no matter how big or small your budget. If you use this powerful medium properly, you will agree that television is still the best place to advertise.

Tom Letizia is the president of Letizia Mass Media, a full-service advertising agency specializing in automotive. He can be reached at 702-777-2121 or email



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