How to Make Your Own Commercial for the “Big Game”

By Brian Cox, President and CEO, Flick Fusion

In 2019, advertisers paid over $5 million for a 30-second commercial ad spot during the Super Bowl. That kind of budget is out of reach for dealerships, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own commercial for the big game.

TV ads that run during the Super Bowl can be funny or heart-wrenching. They can be warm and sweet, or edgy and trendy. A good Super Bowl ad captures and conveys the essence of a brand in 30 seconds.

For weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, everyone wants to know which companies are advertising and what type of commercial they’ll come up with. Some commercials are leaked as teasers and even the news media contributes to the hype. Super Bowl advertisers probably get just as much public relations value out of running an ad during the game, than they do from the actual ad itself.

Why not cash in on this buzz and create your dealership’s very own “big game” commercial? All it takes is some creativity and a camera.

Of course, your commercial won’t actually run on TV during the Super Bowl. Instead, you can distribute it across every digital channel for maximum exposure. Post it on your website. Use it in email marketing and digital ad campaigns. Post it on all your social media channels. Use a shortened version as a pre-roll ad on YouTube.

Promote the heck out of it. Maybe it will go viral. Have some fun with it.

According to a National Retail Federation Study, 73% of Super Bowl viewers see the ads as entertainment. That’s the power of video. If you make your own “big game” commercial, everyone will want to see it. Just make sure that your ad is actually entertaining.

Here are a few tips on what makes a great commercial.

Tell a Story. Most Super Bowl ads don’t try to advertise a sale or special. The most successful ads tell a story that’s designed to elicit an emotion from the viewer. Buying a car can be an emotional experience, so try tapping into your customers’ experience, whether that’s happy, sentimental or exasperated.

Keep it Simple. What’s your brand’s unique value proposition? Don’t try to be everything to everybody. Use simple concepts and headlines. Don’t let complexity get in the way of your message. An effective ad conveys one message that is clear to the audience.

Brand Recall. Sometimes companies do such a great job at being cute or funny, that the viewers love the commercial but they don’t recall the brand. What’s the point of that? To be effective, an ad needs to accurately reflect your brand identity, and viewers should remember the brand.

Originality. If your ad looks like everyone else’s ads, it won’t be memorable. Spend some time coming up with a truly unique concept. Think outside the box. Even if your ad falls short of being award-worthy, your viewers will give you an “A” for effort.

Tap into a Trend. The auto industry is changing. Peruse news headlines and think about what people are talking about: autonomous vehicles, advanced vehicle technology, ride-sharing, electric vehicles and buying cars from vending machines. Try to leverage these trends in your ads, whether it’s poking fun or promoting interactions with an actual human.

Don’t Use Trademarked Terms. The terms “Super Bowl” and “Super Sunday” are trademarked by the NFL, so they can’t be used to promote your business in an ad, or the NFL will send a cease and desist letter. Use terms like “Big Game” or incorporate a football theme without mentioning any specifics. Also avoid using names of specific teams and players.

Be Honest. Most of all, make sure that your dealership delivers on your ad’s promise.

Once your ad is produced, it’s time to kick back, grab some wings and watch as the number of video views goes up and up. And don’t forget to enjoy the game!

5 Pre-Production Steps for Better Videos

by Tim James, COO, Flick Fusion

Videos are consumers’ favorite type of content to see from a brand, as evidenced by the fact that 87% of marketing professionals use videos as a marketing tool. But creating a quality video requires more than just picking up a camera and shooting footage. Before you begin shooting your videos, it’s important to go through a pre-production checklist that will ensure that you get the most out of your time and investment.

Step 1: Begin with the end in mind.

What is the purpose of this video? If you’re creating a vehicle inventory video, think about the end goal. If you’re thinking “my goal is to sell the car,” that’s stating things a little too simply.

Of course you want to convert that video viewer into a customer, but not just a one-time sales customer. Your goal is to create a lifetime, loyal customer who will bring the car in for service. What’s the best way to do this?

Even in something as simple as a vehicle inventory video, you want to lay a foundation that will establish your dealership as a trusted expert and build an emotional connection with the consumer. By the end of the video, the customer should not only love the car, they should like the dealership brand.

Step 2: Who is the target audience?

Before you shoot video, understand who your most profitable customers are. This data exists in your DMS and/or CRM. Filter customers by number of visits and money spent at your dealership. Then look at the demographics and create an ideal “persona.”

What zip codes do they live in? What age groups spend the most with your dealership? What is their income level? Are they white collar or blue collar? Which groups are they affiliated with? What problems do they have?

It’s important to identify audience characteristics so you know what videos will appeal to them. Demographics can help you set the tone for your videos; whether they should be professional, humorous or heartfelt.

Step 3: Determine where the video will be displayed.

If you’re going to produce a video, be sure to maximize your investment by leveraging it across all your marketing touchpoints, including your website VDPs, 3rd-party auto shopping sites, Facebook, Google ad campaigns, email and text campaigns and more.

Also make certain that you can capture your viewers’ data, which enables you to personalize the content of the video for every viewer. This provides your customers with the most relevant experience and provides you with maximum conversion. Make sure your video host can provide you real-time notifications when your videos are being viewed by existing customers or leads.

Step 4. Identify your call to action

What is the next step that you want the consumer to take after watching your video? If it’s an inventory video, you might think the next step is to submit a lead or make a phone call. But many people who view inventory videos are still in the early stages of the car shopping process and trying to narrow down which vehicle is right for them.

If a customer is still in this phase, it would be helpful for them to view make/model test drive videos. So, a better call to action might be to encourage the viewer to watch more videos on your site. This is why it’s important that your video host is able to serve up relevant video content based on a customer’s browsing behavior.

Once a car shopper has narrowed down a make and model, the next phase of the shopping cycle is to decide where to purchase the vehicle. After your test drive videos, a good call to action might be to encourage viewers to watch your dealership’s value proposition and customer testimonial videos.

Step 5: What is the Vision?

Last but not least, this is where you plan the actual shots. Plan to shoot a lot of footage that you can use in future video projects.

Video can be re-purposed in dozens of ways for marketing and social media purposes. I recommend planning shots of the vehicles, your facility, service department, sales department and employees. Professional videographers often shoot hours of footage for a 5-minute video. You don’t have to go overboard, but you should plan to shoot dozens of 15-second clips and catalogue them so you can refer back to them easily.

These pre-production steps are an essential part of the video production process and will help you create videos that resonate with your target audience.

How to Take Advantage of the Rising Popularity of Video Marketing, right NOW!

by Tim James, COO, Flick Fusion

You don’t have to look very far to see that Video Marketing is the future of digital marketing. Not only is it cost effective, easy to create and use video online, but consumers favor video on almost every platform.

If you are a dealer, video is too important to overlook. While it is popular now with marketers and consumers, that popularity will be even larger over the next few years.

Here are three things fueling the growth of video marketing over the next five years and beyond. Along with some simple tips you can use to stay ahead of the trends in 2020.

  1. 5G is coming…

The world is on the edge of a communication revolution. 5G networks will be rolling out in the US by the end of 2019. Since most mobile devices are already designed for viewing video and downloading large files, the real innovation for video in a 5G world will be Augmented Reality.

For example, Panera Bread recently launched an AR ad unit for mobile devices. Consumers can project and rotate menu items and share the content across popular social media channels. The idea is to add transparency and increase engagement. For your dealership to be competitive, it makes sense to incorporate AR advertising and image overlays into your 2020 marketing strategy. A consumer can’t really “see” a car by reading a monroney sticker. They can, however, kick its virtual tires online and cruise through and around it via video. Imagine car shoppers interacting with a vehicle walk-around video right in their own homes.

Some other major national brands and games have found success with AR applications. Snapchat filters are wildly popular among younger generations and are a great example of how simple overlaid images can enhance the user experience and help spread brand awareness.

  1. 70% of the workforce will be millennial or younger over the next 5 years

Speaking of younger generations, 70% of the workforce will be millennial or younger over the next 5 years and their purchasing power will continue to rise. Millennials, Gen Y and Gen Z consume video for more than just entertainment. They use it to guide them in everything from fixing their own washing machines, to learning about brands and products. This then influences their purchasing decisions.

According to a consumer study by Animoto, 8 out of 10 millennials find video helpful when researching a product or service. In fact, they are 85% more likely than baby boomers to purchase if they can watch a video explaining it first.

How can your dealership take advantage of this? Include demo videos on product pages as consumers prefer product demo videos over still images. Placing video on your website increases conversion by 80%. Also, having video on a website makes it 53 times more likely to make it on Googles 1st page. In addition, email open rates increase by 7% when the word “video” is in the title. So, it make sense to include video as part of your lead follow up process.

  1. By 2020, most content will be video

In 2016, Facebook predicted that almost all of its content would be video. Since then video consumption has increased by 100% per year. By 2020, 80% of all digital content will be video. 6 out of 10 consumers prefer video over television. Not only is video the consumer’s preference, it can also reinforce your brand because viewers retain 95 percent of a message that they watch through video.

Video continues to dominate every form of content delivery, and somehow manages to break its own records year after year. Video content is here to stay. Not only is it here to stay, but marketers that fail to use it – and fail to have a robust mobile and video strategy – will quickly find themselves left behind eating their competitors’ dust. And, more importantly, left behind by their potential customers.

Decide now to increase your video content production efforts so you are ahead of the competition in 2020. Include video on your website, use it for more effective customer follow up and make it a core part of your overall marketing strategy. It is what consumers want, and your profit margins will probably agree.

3 Holiday Videos to Spread Good Cheer

Christmas tree.jpg

It’s that time of year again. Right after Thanksgiving, the starting gun booms and the mad rush of the holiday begins. Keeping your dealership top of mind during this season can be challenging.

We in the car business know that it’s a great time of year to buy a car, but not everyone knows that—and not everyone has the time or inclination to buy a car at the end of the year with so much going on.

To cut through the noise and capture your customers’ attention during this crazy time, you have to stand out from the crowd—and there’s no better way to do that than with video. Specifically, here are three essential videos every dealer needs for the holiday season.

Holiday Deals

December is the final month of the quarter and of the year. Let your customers know that some of the best deals to be had are in this month. Manufacturers do a great job of branding in December, serving up plenty of television commercials featuring the latest models with big bows on top. How is your dealership leveraging these ads?

Create a video featuring YOUR best deals and incentives this month, then use it in a multi-channel campaign. Send it in an email to a targeted list and send it as a text to customers who have opted-in to text campaigns. Create a Facebook and Instagram video ad campaign and a Google display ad campaign. Don’t forget to post the video on your website and on your YouTube channel. A targeted, relevant digital video campaign is less expensive than a mass-mailing postcard campaign and will return a much bigger bang for your buck.

November and December are also good months to get a car winterized for the onslaught of freezing temperatures ahead. Create a service deal and promote it as a gift for your customers—either to buy for themselves or for their loved ones. What better way to show that you care than keeping your family safe as they drive on icy roads? Similar to your sales deal video, promote this video across multiple channels.

Customer Appreciation

Although it’s a good time to promote your holiday deals, that’s not the only marketing you should be doing. This time of year, people are focused on family, friends, gratitude and giving. If the only message you send out is “Come on in for a great deal!” you risk being perceived as a Grinch.

Create a video holiday card for your customers. A video is more personal (and cost-effective) than a postcard, and you can even personalize the audio or text to include the recipient’s first name!

In this video DO NOT promote your deals or ask the customer for anything. Simply express your appreciation for their business and wish them a happy holiday season. This video should feature messages from your dealership principal(s) and department managers.

Don’t be afraid to get creative! A customer appreciation video can be warm and heartfelt, or funny and light-hearted. The main thing is to make it sincere.

A Time of Giving

The holidays are the best time of year for you to elevate your dealership’s brand by demonstrating how you give back to the community.

Is your dealership hosting a Toy Drive or taking donations for a charity or Food Bank? Create a video that shows how your charitable event benefits the community. Another option is to create a ‘recap’ video of everything your dealership has done for the community this year.

People feel good when they give, and nothing inspires giving more than seeing someone else give. Let your dealership be that inspiration for others and before you know it, you’ll attract people to your showroom because they want to help your donation efforts, and not necessarily to buy. And that’s OK for now. Because you’ll grab their name and contact information, add them to your marketing list and they’ll remember you when it comes time to buy or service a vehicle.

Make the holiday videos a fun project that all of your dealership employees (who want to) can get involved in. Use the holiday videos in multi-channel marketing campaigns to maximize reach, frequency and ROI. Before you know it, you may have a new holiday tradition that both your employees and your customers will love.