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Bruce Etzcorn

Bruce Etzcorn VP of Operations

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Another Vehicle Video Option for Dealers

Video, video, everywhere vehicle video.

Yes, this is another rant about how your dealership needs video of every vehicle on your website but it may not take the traditional spin. Stay with me, I've got a new idea for vehicle video that you may not have thought about.

As a car dealership you have a handful of vendors knocking at your door delivering vehicle video products complete with human voice overs, flashy graphics and a few other bells and whistles. These videos of your vehicles are sent to your website vendor (hopefully Dealer HD) daily where they automatically add these videos to the correct vehicle in your inventory. All of this is great but what if you don't need all the bells and whistles? What if you're looking to cut costs at your dealership? Either way, you still need vehicle video.

You've got amazing (free) video options.

Whether you're looking for cost-effective video production, an alternative method to create vehicle videos or looking to supplement existing vehicle videos on your dealership's website I've got a little secret for you... Animoto. Animoto's tag line is "the end of slideshows" and once you see a sample, you'll agree with them. Animoto takes the photos of your vehicle and produces amazing high-quality movies. I'm convinced that it doesn't matter what content you throw at Animoto, the end result will be a high-end video that you'll be proud to showcase on your dealership website. Check out a few samples at the Animoto showcase.

The process is extremely simple.

  1. Create a FREE account.
  2. Upload your vehicle photos.
  3. Choose your music.
  4. Title your video and give it a description.
  5. Render your video.

Animoto will start rendering your vehicle video and send you an email when it's ready. The process takes about 10 minutes or so depending on the amount of photos you used to create your masterpiece. Once completed your vehicle video will be available on the Animoto website where you can view, invite friends, share (on facebook, twitter and upload to youTube) or download a web quality version. The download link makes it all worth the price... wait, let's talk about that for a minute.

You pay for what you get.

For Personal use, Aminoto allows you to create an unlimited number 30 second videos for free. If you're looking for videos a bit longer than 30 seconds you'll want to opt for the $30 per year, All-Access Pass.

What you're dealership really needs to do is purchase the Pro package for $249.00 (per year). This gives you a business license and allows you to create an unlimited number of videos of any length for your dealer website. These vehicle videos can also be white-labeled, which strips the Animoto logo off of each video and replaces it with your dealership's logo. All of the packages include use of royalty-free music and the Professional package allows even more music to choose from. All of the pricing details can be found at Animoto pricing.

Is Animoto too good to be true?

To illustrate what a vehicle video may look like with Animoto I created a quick video from our EVOX stills for a BMW 650i Convertible. I chose one of Animoto's royalty free songs for the background but your dealership could upload a jingle instead. For an even more personalized touch, your dealership could produce a voice over track of the vehicle options and upload it. The platform is very flexible.

There is one obvious drawback to all of this. Someone at your dealership has to create each of these vehicle videos so don't go and cancel your contract with your vehicle video provider just yet. If you pride yourself in your dealership's DIY nature then go ahead and give Animoto a try but at this point I'd recommend it as a supplement to your existing vehicle video setup. The creation process is not all that bad. I have a great time creating videos. I use this often to put together photos that I take of personal events and everyone (and I mean everyone) loves the final product.

Daniel Boismier
Bruce, Great article. Do you know if the Pro account will allow you to bulk upload or even better have your inventory proider send photos?
Bruce Etzcorn
The Pro account does allow bulk upload. Animoto has their Quick Start API ( http://dhd.fm/ectrGZ ) which allows applications (or your inventory provider) to easily send images, music and video clips to Animoto so you can make videos quickly. We're currently using this in our system and it really does speed up the process.
Shannon Hammons
Bruce, I am a pro member. I love Animoto, but how can i get the video from there to my vdp page?
Bruce Etzcorn
Shannon, I wrote this post quite some time ago while I was developing at Dealer HD. We integrated Animoto using their API. Which allowed us to send vehicle photos to Animoto and allow you to craft your video. Once complete, we'd pull in the published Animoto video. It wasn't too complicated. Today (at Dealer Inspire) we have a unique system for pulling in video content from YouTube that can be shown on all vehicles, certain makes, certain models, or the individual stock number! Just get the video to your YouTube channel. We'll handle the rest.

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