CAR DEALER RADIO ADVERTISING…IMPROVED

gorillaI had an opportunity to work with a colleague’s auto dealer client last week.

His client, Mark, manages the local Chevrolet store and has been its radio spokesman for many years.  Mark writes all his own copy. This is the script he’d written for our recording session:

JUST WHAT YOU’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR… HI, MARK YRAZABAL AT CHIPMAN & TAYLOR CHEVROLET IN PULLMAN. THAT’S RIGHT, JUST THE RIGHT CAR FOR YOU, THE ALL NEW CHEVY CRUZE. IT’S GOT THE COMFORT AND CONVENIENCES OF A MUCH BIGGER CAR, COUPLED WITH THE PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING OF A SMALLER SPORTS CAR. IT OFFERS 5 STAR SAFETY, 10 AIR BAGS AND UP TO 42 MILES PER GALLON OR MORE. I HAVE SEVERAL TO CHOOSE FROM AND YOU CAN LEAS A NICELY EQUIPPED LS MODEL FOR ONLY $199 A MONTH PLUS TAX, FOR 39 MONTHS, WITH ONLY $1500 DOWN. ONCE YOU EXPERIENCE A CRUZE FOR YOURSELF, YOU’LL BEGIN TO UNDERSTAND WHAT A TREMENDOUS VALUE IT IS… SO COME SEE US WHILE SELECTION IS BEST ONLY AT CHIPMAN & TAYLOR IN PULLMAN…(JINGLE).

First problem: this is way too much copy for a thirty-second spot, even for a fast reader such as Mark.

Second problem: the opening line is a waste. “Just what you’ve been looking for” could be about anything. The opening line is the ad for the ad; we have to win the listener’s attention in the first few seconds.

My replacement talks directly to a prospect who’s in the market for a new car: “Is the all-new Chevy Cruze the right car for YOU?” 

Other edits: I killed “smaller” (redundant), “I have several to choose from” (expected), “nicely equipped” (dealer-speak), and “only” (unnecessary), and replaced the declarative “Once you experience a Cruze for yourself, you’ll begin to understand…” with a punchier call-to-action: “So drive a Cruze and you’ll understand…”

Finally, we eliminated that last bit of dealer-speak, “So come see us while selection is best…” and—this may have been the most difficult thing for Mark to embrace, since it involved killing his darling—I changed “only at” to “here at.”  (Clearly this dealership is not the only place one can find a Chevy Cruze. To imply otherwise invites a subconscious and instinctive negative reaction.)

I niggle over these things because they matter. Words matter.

Here’s the commercial as it’s running on the air today. 

Businessman with Cowboy Hat and CigarToo many car dealer radio and TV ads sound the same. They all use the same tired clichés, hyperboles, and adspeak, it’s hard to distinguish one dealership from another. A script you banged out in five minutes isn’t likely to move the needle. Make the investment of time, effort, and focus. Give your first draft a second thought. Create advertising that actually means something to your prospect.

Improved advertising will improve your ROI.

___________________

Do you have a script that needs tweaking?  Ready to create  better ads for your business?  Call me.

About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continues to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.
This entry was posted in Advertising (General), Branding, Client-voiced commercials, Communication, Radio Advertising, Radio Commercials, Radio Copywriting, Radio Production, Sales & Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s