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Treat your video marketing campaign like a car sales movie – good storytelling is everything
Brands today are no longer selling products to consumers–they’re selling stories. Study the next car commercial you see: a rugged cowboy lifting hay bales on a brutally hot day, sweat dripping from his nose as he wipes his face with a damp cloth. The camera pans out, and you see all the lifting not yet completed. Suddenly, in the hazy distance, a gleaming figure appears on the horizon and gradually comes into view: a brand new Ford F-150 with an extended bed, driven by a woman sipping a glass of iced lemonade. That’s not a commercial; it’s a car sales movie.
Storytelling, in a large way, is selling. You’re persuading the audience to buy into the narrative of your brand. Of course, the quality of the commercials Ford produces is not in the budget at your car dealership, but you can still use storytelling to connect better with your prospective buyers. It takes a little bit of creative vision and conceptualization, but the narrative building doesn’t have to be a work of art, either.
Car dealership commercials have changed, especially over the last decade. Sleazy-looking dealership owners yelling about “GREAT PRICES!” are being replaced by better production value, engaging spokespeople, and attempts to build an actual brand.
Create a car sales movie by mastering the TV commercial production process
How can you make your dealership stand out among all the other commercials on TV? It’s time to do more than film your sales manager standing on the lot in a dumb hat while he points at cars.
1. Reframe what you are selling
In general, every auto dealership with a TV commercial is peddling the same thing: cars. There may be a variety of makes and models involved, but even then, your vehicles aren’t necessarily what will make viewers choose your dealership if they aren’t brand loyalists.
What are you really selling? The experience. You’re selling what makes your dealership unique from every other Joe Schmo dealership out there. Do some real soul searching and make a list of what makes your dealership special.
2. Create a storyline your audience can relate to
The theme of your car sales movie has to be something your audience can relate to. If you sell high-end vehicles and you create a funny commercial, it may take away from the luxury feel your audience is looking for.
Have a “character” you can use in different commercials to maintain a theme
When you’re coming up with an idea for your car sales movie, think beyond the first commercial. Could you have a recurring character that ties your current and future commercials together? Someone your audience can relate to and associate with your brand in a positive way?
3. Keep it simple
It can be a lot of fun to start thinking about the TV commercial production process in a different way, but don’t let your ideas, themes, or storylines get too grandiose. Depending on your budget, you only have about 30-60 seconds to tell your story on TV. You gotta keep it snappy.
4. Have a marketing plan to maximize exposure
You know all that time and effort you’re putting into your TV commercials? The internet is a beautiful thing because it can help maximize your exposure. Upload every car sales movie to YouTube and share across all your dealership’s social media accounts. Have funny outtakes or extended version of your commercials? Share those on YouTube and social media as well!
5. Don’t forget the basic info
When brainstorming, writing, filming, and editing a car sales movie, it’s easy to get caught up in all of the little details—well, except for the most important ones. Do not forget to include your dealership’s location, contact info, and website. Wouldn’t it be awful if you made an amazing, groundbreaking dealership commercial and then forgot to tell people how to find you? PS: Run everything by your compliance officer before you ship off the final version.
Auto dealership commercials are still effective forms of advertising, but by tweaking the way you plan and produce them, you have the potential to make your dealership stand out in a positive way. Take the time, invest the money, and create a memorable car sales movie the entire town will be talking about.