Local used car dealership commercials tend to evoke two strong feelings in people. One is embarrassment because maybe you know those involved (or you’re just a sensitive soul). Two is amusement because the quality of the ad is terrible. There might also be a certain degree of confusion or ‘WTF’ questions. Click here or here to see some recent examples that evoke those feelings.
There is hope for our industry. For one thing, some fantastic and viral spoofs have come out of this catastrophe. For another, there are dealerships out there who have made some great local commercials and and they deserve to be honored. Here are five car dealerships that are doing it right. Hopefully they’ll help you learn not to cringe on instinct the next time one comes on TV.
The Johnson Automotive Center
Johnson Automotive is a chain of dealerships spanning from Florida to Maryland. They hired a Richmond ad agency to come up with their “badger” ad campaign. The ads were a huge hit playing off the classic stereotype of a used car salesman. Here’s a medley of them all.
Sports Auto Group
Based in Australia, Sports Auto Group is known for their successful ads that cater to a budget-conscious younger crowd.
A legend in the California area, Cal Worthington is one of few used car salesmen to be genuinely loved by the people of California. There are a ton of his “Go See Cal” commercials out there, but here’s a good one from 1985. As Cal says, “Before you sell them anything, you have to get their attention.”
R.I. Suresky and Son
You don’t always have to be funny to have a good car dealership ad. Suresky’s went for a style similar to manufacturer commercials, but they put a local spin on it (check out the NY plates in each car shot). It’s simple and it works.
Tony Divino Toyota
What makes Tony Divino Toyota’s commercials so interesting is that they have nothing to do with the dealership. Their commercials are just a cool way to make people less annoyed about commercials and think differently about Tony Divino.
Written by Sara Price