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Friday, July 27, 2007

Car Dealers Creating Their Own Advertisements?

I ran across an interesting blog post today that I have mixed feelings about. For some car dealers it could be a great thing. For others it's a disaster waiting to happen, or maybe I should say waiting to get worse. The original post talks about the advertising we've all seen before...a dealer's kid "starring" in their commercial or other things that seem like a good idea to the dealer but are the epitome of bad advertising.

If you're a local (Virginia Beach) reader then you've probably seen one local dealer's TV commercials with his dog. I cringe every time I see that commercial. The funny thing is, I had a young couple ask me one day where the dealership was for "that car dealer with the dog". I wanted to say "I don't know" out of spite, but someone paid good money for that horrible commercial so I may as well help them get their ROI.

OK, back on topic here. There is a company website which is linked from the original blog post that enables auto dealers to produce their own advertisements. They seem to have a pretty decent idea. It looks like their advertising "experts" have created some sort of templates for different media that are customized via a web interface by the dealer. For the professional dealer who has the time or wants the extra control, this is a great thing. I just wonder how many dealers will end up using this to create their own "bad" advertising campaigns. Hopefully there is some sort of educational aspect to what they're doing to guide dealers in the right creative direction.


Unknown said...


Thanks for the post and reference. I shared your same misgivings when this idea was rolled out however I must admit being incredibly impressed by the quality of what folks had to work with. I wouldn't say it was fool proof but it looked like they made it pretty difficult to make a bad spot. Again, these are my Omnicom colleagues so I'll admit that I can't be considered totally objective.

My limited experience with viewing local car dealership commercials -- most anything would be an improvement!

Dealership Discussions said...

I also work for a competiting large entity, FWIW. But I've also got a blog and care only about honest comments. Here is mine regarding pick-'n-click:

This is a good tool for OmniCom. Many dealers want self-service products these days. Why not give them the option?

Most dealer ad's demonstrate little real creativity anyway. Why not take simple, effective templates and offer them up?

Newspapers have been headed in this dorection for a while. My company, which aslso does a lot of print advertising, also has template-oriented tools for its advertisers, particularly in real estate.

Is this idea going to set the world on fire? No, but they're (p-n-c) aggressively trying to partner with other companies to extend their reach. Makes sense.

As for its pertinence to websites, website providers have been doing this anyway for some time, some more explicit than others. If it's inexpensive and effective and suits a dealers preferences (I believe they don't really know what they 'need'), it's a great thing.

Finally, visit my blog and let me know your thoughts on my posts. I'll mostly try to raise questions and provoke thoughts as opposed to promoting products: