“There’s Never Been a Better Time to Buy a Car”

| June 15, 2017

By Holland Cooke
Media Consultant

 

BLOCK ISLAND, RI — That has gotta be THE – repeat, THE – most worn-out auto copy cliché.  In-one-ear-and-out-the-other.

A dealer who advertises 52 weeks on one of my client stations – and didn’t stop during the Recession – actually mocks this line in his ads.

Ironically, it may now be true.  OK…maybe the ultimate buyer’s market was right after 9/11, when no-interest loans debuted.  But right now dealers will deal, and reward any advertising medium that helps move metal.

What station owners, GMs, and Sales Managers are telling me:

  • A couple years ago, Detroit was telling dealers to move radio money to digital. Lately, it’s a less-shiny object.  ‘Tough to connect-the-dots from Facebook ads to cars-sold.  So auto money is wandering back, to radio, but the timing is awkward.
  • A couple years ago, the average age of a car on road was 11 years. After that pent-up demand was satisfied, sales are slower now.

What they tell me is working:

  • Avoid cliché copy, such as that line above. Or loud, fast-talking blah blah blah.
  • Well-executed endorsement spots can cut through the clutter. On YouTube, search “Holland Cooke Make Money With Endorsement Spots.”
  • IF the dealer “can talk,” and the copy is right, the dealer’s voice can still evoke “I heard you on the radio,” which is the opposite of “who listens to radio anymore?”
  • Get ‘em behind the wheel. A friend told me how – on a whim – she test drove a Range Rover, and the dealer offered “Take it home for the night!  We’ll wash and vacuum your car while you do.”

Note: With delinquencies up lately, lenders are wary of subprime auto loans.  So the appeal to low credit score buyers could become less-opportune.

Holland Cooke (HollandCooke.com) is a media consultant working at the intersection of broadcasting and the Internet.  Follow him on Twitter @HollandCooke

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Category: Advice