9 Clouds Automotive Marketing Blog

Where automotive meets digital marketing.


Here is Why Your TV Ads Aren’t Working

“If you think your TV ads aren't working, they probably aren't.” – Abraham Lincoln

We've told you before about how videos can help people learn about your dealership, and the most familiar type of video is the good ole TV spot. While well-timed TV advertising is still able to reach a big audience, it can be difficult to measure its impact on your dealership's bottom line.

TV ads are all push and no pull. 

Car dealerships love TV ads because they're a one-and-done thing. You assemble your offer, call your agency and cut an ad. They put it on the air, you pay an arm and a leg, wait for leads, and start over again next month. It's a wheel that has been spinning the same way since the 1950s.

But today in 2015, TV ads are a shout in the dark, and you're left hoping that someone who happens to be interested happens to hear you. In fact, for every lead you bring in, you're outwardly wasting 30 seconds of time for thousands of other viewers. It's no wonder we love our DVRs!

And unless you are measuring the results of your TV ads over time, they aren't helping you strategize about your store's brand, messaging and tactics. In fact – not measuring the results is a negative result.

But don't get us wrong here. TV isn't dead. As Ivan Widjaya of noobpreneur.com writes:

TV commercials still work; even the trend says that young people are still consuming TV content – even the ads, despite the general consensus that says young people don’t view TV commercials anymore, as they are busy with their smartphones and tablets.

While traditional platforms are still important, you won't get the full picture unless you're measuring the ads' digital success.

If you're dissatisfied with the results – or lack thereof – of your dealership's television performance, keep reading. Here are some of the main reasons your TV ads are lackluster.

The 3 Main Reasons Your TV Ads Aren't Working

Reason #1: You're boring

Before you dial up your ad agency and cut another TV spot pushing truck month (or the event du jour), think about the action you want people to take right now.

People can't buy or test drive cars from their couches. Think beyond “come and visit us today” and reach “browse these trucks right now at mysite.com/trucks” or “learn more about our community involvement at mysite.com/caring.”

Without a call to immediate action, couch potatoes like me will see your ad and forget it almost immediately. And maybe – maybe – if I remember you're having a sale tomorrow, I'll think about Googling you. But even if I want a new car, what am I going to do about your gigantic amazing brand or sale right now here on the couch? That's where the real potential is.

While you don't want to cut a boring ad, turning up the volume won't help your brand. Don't forget to stop shouting.

Reason #2: You're ignoring the second screen

These days, everyone watches TV with their phones, tablets or laptops in hand. It's a virtual doorway for contextual advertising. The best way to make your TV ads more digitally effective is to isolate the traffic for controlled observation. (#science!)

For example, you can include a digital call-to-action (CTA) at the end of your spot asking the viewer to request a free trade evaluation online. By creating a shortlink or a specific page that only the TV viewers will know about or find – let's say “yourwebsite.com/tradeup” – you can welcome and direct those TV viewers to the specific landing page you want them to see and boom – you have measurable traffic and leads.

Your CTA doesn't have to be a website URL; it can also be a text campaign. For example, you might ask people at the end of your TV spot to sign up for your service specials by texting [keyword] to 12345. Another traditional campaign that you can track digitally.

Reason #3: You're not hitting your target

This is the controversial one. We all know that TV is big and broad, but that doesn't mean quality. Even when you find which shows your target demographic watches, your Nielsen DMA (the geographic market to which your TV ad will show) will spread your message very thin, geographically speaking.

That's why 9 Clouds believes that you – yes all of you – should aim to share all of your TV spots online. If your TV spot doesn't look or feel comfortable online, something needs to change. While traditional TV advertising might be aging quickly, video is thriving online here in 2015.

Seek to create a more entertaining, educational or engaging ad (see reason #1). If you can make your TV ads as if you're going to put them online, you can get much more mileage and many more interested leads.

It's not just about reaching people. It's also about engaging them. In fact, any dealership can now show a video ad directly to a target audience on Facebook. As opposed to TV, that's some real quality over quantity.

Has your dealership found success with TV ads and/or online video? We want to hear from you below!

Shameless Self-Promotion Time!

Our team at 9 Clouds helps dealerships throughout the country engage and grow their audiences online. We want to help you upload, post, share and advertise your dealership's videos to the right people – and that's just the tip of our iceberg.