Diluting Your Message

Ad Dilution

After taking a vacation and clearing my mind, I walked in my office yesterday and looked at a handful of ads that were being produced. I saw many that I liked and a few I wanted to change. The ones that were to be changed had one component in common – they were diluted.

My definition of a diluted ad is one that tries to sell too many things at one time. To use a quote that Mike Strong taught me, “It’s hard enough to sell one proposition in a :30 ad; and it’s totally impossible to sell 3.”

Some of this is due to the time of year. Manufacturers are racing to hit their year- end numbers so new events and theme/logo requirements are required in ads. This can create a little havoc when a sale or theme is already in place. Then, at the last minute, a manufacturer comes out with “the sale event of the month” and requires it to be included in every dealer’s ad. That compounded with wanting to push multiple offers makes creating an effective ad a real challenge.

Going back to what has consistently worked best for dealers across the country is to take their very best product, at the best price or payment, and use an entire ad to leverage this point. When 3 to 4 different offers or messages get placed in a :30 spot, it becomes challenging to create something that will result in traffic.


About the author

John Paul Strong: As owner of Strong Automotive Merchandising, a company that increases traffic up to 1,000% for dealerships, Strong lives by the simple concept that your attitude affects your success. Without a positive mind set he would not have been able to grow the company over the last decade from just 10 to over 80 full-time employees. The rapid growth is thanks to his ability to keep the company on the forefront of technology, market changes and an infectious talent to motivate and keep employees striving to fulfill their potential. His beginnings in direct mail gave him the tools and skills to develop incredibly successful marketing plans. From there he moved on to traditional forms of media and has now mastered the dynamic world of digital and social media advertising. With over 150 dealers to please, Strong takes a hands-on approach and personal attention to detail in all aspects of marketing strategies. His expertise in plan development gives him a keen sense on how to maximize a dealer’s budget and ultimately increase their bottom line. Strong is a passionate speaker in the automotive industry. He has authored two books on creating next day traffic. He graduated from the Executive Education Program at the Harvard Business School. Strong received a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Montevallo. He lives with his wife and three children in Homewood, Alabama.


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