Dealers have stopped having fun with their advertising, since the economic meltdown. Dealers have treated advertising as if it they were prepping for a colonoscopy. Hey everybody, lighten up a bit, after all, its only advertising.
Now, when I say have fun with your advertising, I’m talking about having fun creating commercials, or having fun promotions. When you develop your messages, humanize them and develop messages that talk directly to your customers. When you talk to your friend, do you yell at him? What kind of people do you like to be around? The beauty of advertising is it gives you a platform to tell your story and let people know who you really are and what you are all about.
Now don’t get me wrong, we still need to sell cars and still need to convey a compelling message, but the entertainment aspect of advertising is lacking in most markets and most campaigns. What we need to do is start getting back to building the image and enhancing your brand.
If you think back to the wild and crazy years, our focus in advertising was price, selection and urgency. Somewhere along the line advertising must still convey these important selling points. As the world of advertising continues to change, however, there is a time and place for everything. In this case, there is a medium and usage to achieve all our goals.
Newspaper will always be a catalog of pricing. Print ads need to show factory incentives, low price leaders and vehicle features. This is where you must get right to the point and hook the customer on the benefits of shopping your store.
Television is where the fun begins and where the creativity comes into play. It is where you can create humor, emotion, animation, special effects, and more. Television does not need to be hard sell message like print. Dealers are doing an injustice to this medium by trying to cram too much into a 30 second commercial. Television is where you build your brand and image. This is the medium where you can distinguish your dealership from your competition. Building TV spots is where you can really be creative and have fun. Television stations constantly look to partner with local businesses for special events, like charity promotions, or station events. These kinds of promotions can bring a lot of traffic to your store and give customers a chance to experience your dealership.
Radio can be a wonderful extension to television. Local radio stations offer you many opportunities that television stations cannot offer. Radio stations can come out to your store and do live broadcasts, also known as remotes. Radio stations are always looking to partner with advertisers for tickets giveaways and they are constantly looking for locations to act as “drop-off points” for there many station promotions.
Look for fun ways to approach your advertising and think in terms of long-term benefits for your store. Remember, the whole idea of advertising is simply to bring bodies into your dealership to get to know you and what you offer. By having fun, your customers will feel that enthusiasm and want to make you a part of their buying experience.
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