There was a sportscaster whose trademark comment was ‘I’m just telling it like it is!’ It worked for him, and it worked for Crown Nissan in Birmingham, AL. The dealership just completed a nearly 5-week campaign and the results were spectacular, all because they asked very directly for the community’s help in reaching a sales goal.
When General Sales Manager Bob Cruthirds met with Strong, his advertising agency, on July 18th, he made his position very clear. “We’re in a nationwide sales contest,” Cruthirds said, “and we’re in it to win it!” The goal was 40 Nissan trucks sold before August 31st and if the mark were met Crown would be in line for a sizeable bonus.
The challenge was clear – the dealership had not sold 40 Nissan trucks (Titans, Frontiers, Armadas, Pathfinders, Xterras, Quests) in the previous three months combined. Cruthirds and Strong agreed that time was critical; they needed to finish July big and keep the momentum going right into August.
A media plan was designed to move money to close July heavy, and hit August with nearly two times the normal schedule weight with 500 GRP’s. Because most dealers don’t advertise early, Crown received premium placement, as well as significant bonus schedule spots – all by moving money, not adding money!
Cruthirds has been the TV face of Crown Nissan for nearly 5 years, and for these commercials he spoke directly to the situation. For July, in shirt and tie, Cruthirds said, “It’s the end of the month, another record breaker… but now a new challenge, and for Alabama’s #1 dealer to win… prices never before offered!”
Cruthirds came back the first of August, just as direct; “There’s not another dealer in America so serious about saving you money…prices as low as $15,000!” By close of business August 20th, Crown Nissan had hit their goal – people had come in asking for Nissan trucks!
The success of this campaign goes straight back to attitude; everyone – the dealer, his sales force, the agency – was in it to win it. Crown captured the spotlight and the market with a decisive plan and quick-turn commercials that gave a clear reason to buy from Crown. “We asked our market to help us win,” Cruthirds said with a smile, “and they stepped up!”
John Paul Strong
John Paul Strong combines his two decades of automotive marketing experience with a team of more than 140 professionals as owner and CEO of Strong Automotive.