Why is Your Stuff Any Different?

Someone asked me this question this week while I was giving my passionate thoughts on what creative should look like in a :30 TV spot. After preaching about how price must dominate the screen and you only run one offer per spot tied around a unique sale event they continued to say that’s what they’d been doing and it wasn’t working.

I told them to show me a couple of their recent TV spots. They were exactly what I expected. The spots featured big pictures of an empty dealership front with no customers, cars riding down roads in the mountains (like you would expect from a factory ad) and the prices on screen were so small I had to squint my eyes to see them on a computer. Full disclosure, this was not a highline store but a major volume brand.

I then played a few of my spots. One had a space shuttle taking off in the beginning. Another had a ninja with a samurai sword cutting a payment in half. One even had a fire breather with the flames erupting into the numbers. None of my spots showed any running footage had only prices and payments that were full screen. This dealer was kind of in shock. Maybe it was the ads or just how bizarre of concepts I used to get across the point of a great price in the ads. Regardless he said, “I guess your spots have more punch.”

That is it. Tier 3 creative needs punch. It needs something that reaches through the screen and grabs someone out of their living room and catches their attention. You have heard of cutting through the clutter with an ad, but how about straight up making peoples mouths drop in sheer wonder of what is on screen.

I have a wife and three young kids. At my house either cartoons are on TV or we are watching something that she or I prefer which leaves the other four people in the room doing something else with their attention. This is why you have to create the bold and harness the bizarre to make an ad that truly will deliver you next day traffic.


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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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