I recently viewed a 30 minute spot for a local (Central/Upstate NY) automotive dealership FX Caprara – a 30 minute, not seconds. I could not help but wonder what marketing/advertising agency had given this dealership the creative & marketing direction on this spot.  In general, the automotive industry has had the weakest marketing strategies in history. There are a few that have broken out of the mundane marketing approach. As a result, their stories have made a lasting impact on their audience.

What you say, and how you say it – whether verbal, in print, or digital – speaks volumes about your brand, your personality, your values, the owners and the stakeholders. You have but one opportunity to make a positive lasting impression. Afterward, you’re either reinforcing your brand image, or fixing it.

The below observations were noted on the FX Caprara spot, but these issues are just as real for much of the automotive industry:

  • A big banner with the dealership website address was suspended in the background. Great move, but unfortunately the web address was blocked by a colorful bouquet of balloons. TAKE ACTION: When composing the shot, note every element you are using, particularly the elements that call for action from the viewers (like visiting a website). You need to be considerate at all times of the Conversion factor – getting the greatest response from your audience (call, visit website, visit location, etc.)
  • The spokesperson, Charlie Caprara (owner) was very engaging, exciting to listen to, had a great personality – but, I do not remember him pausing, allowing the viewer to process the information. I understand that time is money and we all do our best to get the most for our investments, but Charlie just went on and on. It is counter-production to provide so much information. The audience would have remembered more information had he said less. Less is more!
  • As the camera changed locations, the environment  greatly effected the audio quality. Be considerate of how the audio behaves as you change locations. If the environment is negatively impacting the audio quality, just pick a better location – don’t ruin the entire spot.
  • One of the shots paned across a parking log of their vehicles. Smart move, but the vehicles were all covered with snow – I couldn’t tell one from the other. It’s these small things that add to the overall experience the audience has.
  • From beginning to end, the lower third of the screen was flooder with too much copy, set in a small type – an issue of legibility (and my television screen is not small). Besides the FX Caprara logo, I could not read the other information.
  • I did not see any exciting footage of the vehicles they were selling; not to mention any interior, close-ups, 3/4 views, etc. Buying a vehicle is as much an emotional decision as it is logical. Images speak volumes.

What happened with doing things with quality?!

There has never been a time in history when the consumer had so much purchasing power as today. Screaming, yelling, and flashing no longer works. The consumer has become extremely intelligent, having valuable information and resources a click-away. Automotive Industry – it’s time to take a new approach to your marketing strategies!

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