Ever see that Audi car dealership commercials where people are driving on the highway jump out of their cars and onto a truck carrying brand new Audis because they want one that bad? That video commercial is full of stunts, beautiful cars, and tons of special effects. Looks extraordinary!!! The budget on it must have been huge, far massive than the average commercial you see on TV.
Local Car Dealership Commercials are All About The Savings
Billy Fuccillo is the owner of one of the largest car dealership groups in the country. If you have the luck to live near one of his locations, then you’re familiar with his annoying commercials. It's all about how the savings are going to be extremely huge. The car dealership commercial must have a budget of at least $500,000, while the average Fuccillo spot looks like it was made for less than $500.
Buying a car is a huge purchase with lots of companies and dealerships all fiercely competing for customers through advertising. The national spots are intended to create awareness about the product and nationwide sales events, while the local car dealership commercials are intended to get people to walk through the door. Both types of commercials serve the same industry, yet they’re especially different in terms of quality.
To understand, why both types of ads are such opposites you first have to realize that there is a third type of car dealership commercials that most people rarely see.
What are Zone Commercials?
Zone commercials are national commercials with a title on the end and a tagline that features information about a local dealer. So why do dealerships prefer to make their low budget commercials as opposed to the well-polished car dealership commercials that are provided for them?
The reasons are costs and message. The car companies don’t let their dealerships use the Zone ads for free and charge a licensing fee. Plus, most dealerships feel like there is a huge disconnect between themselves and corporate about what matters most to the customer: the price.
Cars are big purchases, and customers are going to work very hard to get what they want at the lowest price possible. My wife and I bought a brand new Toyota Highlander two years ago after visiting two Toyota dealerships. The first one we went to did not have the specific car with the features we wanted in stock. Because they had to order it, they were not flexible on the price. The second dealership we went to did have it, and they sold it to us at a lower price.
The Reality in Dealership Business
Dealership, as a local business, believes that have the best prices in the area. If they want to get customers to walk through the door, they have to convince them that they are the most cheaper dealers around! And they communicate this by having someone (usually the owner) look into the camera and scream about how low their prices are.
These car dealership commercials are made as quickly and cheaply as possible to keep costs low and profits high. The idea of low prices gets communicated, along with an unintended impression of low quality.
A video commercial is a very powerful communication tool. Every detail in it, no matter how small, influences the viewer about the brand being represented. When a dealer creates crappy car dealership commercials with someone screaming about how crazy the prices are, they’re creating the impression that they stand for low quality.
Plus, so many of these types of car dealership ads are very similar to each other. This makes the dealer and their competitors all look the same without anyone standing out from the pack. It also causes most of the commercials to be ignored by television viewers.
So while development and production budgets are kept very low, the dealerships are in essence losing huge sums of money on their airtime purchases because most of the thousands of eyeballs they are paying for aren’t paying their attention.
In reality, most car dealerships offer a lot more than low prices. They have a knowledgeable sales staff, great service departments that are honest, fast, and competent, plus enormous inventories of new and used cars. A lot of these dealerships have created their unique, high-quality brand within the store to make sure their customers have the best experience possible.
I believe that dealers should recognize what makes their brand unique and then communicate that through their car dealership commercials.
All it takes is some creativity and a modest production budget. With an effective video commercial that is different from the competition television. Viewers will be able to take their notice. And that will result in more people walking through the door.