When it comes to radio and television advertising, it’s easy to spend a whole lot of money on airtime and feel good about the decision, because . . . well, it’s radio and television. Of course it will get stellar results, right?
But the truth is: Yes, you will get results just from having your dealership name placed on the air. Will the results be anything close to “stellar”? That depends on the effectiveness of your branding strategy.
Yes, “branding strategy” may sound rather technical and ivory tower-ish. Here’s a simpler litmus test: If you describe your auto franchise to someone at a party, what’s the best way for you to get that person to know which dealership you’re talking about?
If the only thing you can think of is your location (for example, “We’re the one in Southville across from Summerland Mall”), then you know that your branding strategy needs a lot of work. Your goal is to occupy a distinct, unique place in your prospects’ and customers’ minds.
The following are three effective strategies that work on both radio and television, all designed to carve out a memory cue for your dealership, skyrocket advertising results, and enhance long-term customer retention:
1. Voice-over announcer
Did you ever notice that some of the biggest companies in the U.S. pick one announcer and use that person for years at a time? For example, you may have heard the “Get it, Got it, Good” slogan from Grainger. Just mentioning the company’s name may make you imagine the announcer’s unique voice. Or consider the “Let’s Do This” slogan from Home Depot. Another unique-sounding announcer’s voice might pop into your head.
To get similar results for your dealership, contact your radio or television spot producers to see if they offer unique voice-over announcers. If you have the station produce your spot for free, it often has a minimal selection of in-house announcers, each of whom represents many local companies. For this reason, it’s often wise to hire a radio or audio production company that has access to a wide variety of announcers.
After hearing demos, select someone who has a unique and memorable voice and who, in your estimation, “sounds” like your dealership. Could this person be a nonprofessional, such as the dealer owner or manager? Sometimes this works, but other times it ends up sounding awkward. If you go this route, get an honest third party to assess your candidate. Once you find your unique voice, stick with that person for at least a few years, and assess the results along the way.
A couple of branding slogans were mentioned earlier, but you can probably think of several more without any trouble. Slogans are important for branding because they can go everywhere: broadcast, print ads, outdoor, online, social media, in-showroom signage, letterhead, etc.
Ideally, if you mention your dealership to someone at a party, that person should be able to tell you your slogan immediately. To create an excellent slogan, consider the following five techniques—not all are critical, but it’s wise to use at least a few of them:
- Saying seven words or fewer
- Including your dealership’s key benefit
- Using active rather than passive voice
- Being fully original.
3. Music or sound
Just as using the same voice-over announcer as everyone else won’t help you stand out, using the same stock library music will hurt rather than help your ad results. Consider the ads that you remember best. Now think about the music associated with those ads. It’s probably true that most of them had music that was completely original. Perhaps it was a custom music background composed for that company, or a full jingle or ending jingle tag.
When people hear musical cues over and over, they immediately associate what they are hearing with the company. For example, you could hear “ba da ba ba ba” (the five notes before “I’m Loving It”) and immediately think of McDonald’s without having to hear the whole ad, even if you’re barely paying attention. This is the power of music, and it makes sense to put it to work for you.
After you’ve put these three strategies into practice, imagine going back to that party mentioned earlier and describing your dealership. It should be much easier now that you have a unique announcer, a distinguishing slogan, and memorable custom music. Chances are you won’t even need to say too much, because the person you’re speaking to will be able to tell you all about your branding strategy.
David Rodgers helps auto dealers maximize radio and television advertising results by providing memorable jingles, custom background music, full radio-spot production, and on-hold music messages. Contact David through his company, Doctor Jingles, at [email protected] or (248) 291-7735. Hear demos at doctorjingles.com.0
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