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Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Ford sets retail ad benchmark, our columnist contends.

by on Apr.08, 2011

Ford’s New ‘Swap Your Ride’ Ad Campaign Sets Retail Benchmark

Ford brings back its effective Swap Your Ride ad campaign.

For almost as long as auto manufacturers have sold to and through local dealers there have been significant differences of opinion – also known as shouting arguments — as to what makes a good dealer or dealer group ad, especially in television, the primary ad medium. And it escalates in intensity prior to the vital spring sales selling period.

Dealers usually want big prices, special deals, their name really big, on-camera appearances, lots of gags, gimmicks and goofy set-ups featuring clowns, dogs, loud suits, whining salespeople and of course shopping hours, convenient terms, special financing and so on. The usual statement to factory and agency reps is, “We know our market a helluva lot better than you fancy-pants do in (insert city name)!

A Smart Source for Auto News!

The factory suits, most who have never sold a car on a showroom floor — combined with sartorially challenged agency “creative” and producers who (a) usually detest doing anything retail and (b) if they’re made to, want pretty brand-building commercials which include sunrise or sunset  beauty shots, running footage in scenic areas, especially California, celebrity actors and/or voiceovers, mind numbing computer generated images, special music, shooting in film not tape and absolutely no mention of the dealers who sell the vehicle. Result? Good looking, non-selling commercials that look really good on personal reels. But retail sales results are dubious.