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CDK Global

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Dealers: Use Super Bowl Advertising to Eat Your Competition for Breakfast



Thumbnail of Automotive Marketing Expert Max StecklerWhen it comes to Super Bowl advertising, auto marketing expert Max Steckler has one piece of advice for auto dealers: don’t forget about breakfast.

What does he mean? “The Super Bowl is the dance,” Steckler, Vice President of Advertising Products for ADP Digital Marketing, explains. “That’s where the courtship between advertisers and consumers begin.  It’s a whirlwind, and it’s incredibly exciting. But what about after the excitement of the event fades? The one who’s actually going to win that customer relationship is the dealer who thinks about breakfast the morning after.”

Breakfast, in this case, is the retargeting campaign that displays your ads across consumers’ favorite websites long after the dust from The Big Game has settled. “The day after is just as important as the day itself,” Steckler says. “You want to be continuing to reinforce the national ad message so you can draw consumers to your store. If you can get that click, you can continue to fold your brand into that initial, electric Super Bowl experience.”

That’s just one tip the ADP Digital Marketing team offers on how dealers can make their Super Bowl advertising soar, so read on for the rest.

Tips for an Automotive Digital Marketing Upset

  1. Make Your Campaigns More “Likeable.” Gen Y are not only sports-lovers (or at least beer-lovers), they also represent 40% of new car buyers for 2012.  Since we know they’ll be documenting their Super Bowl experience through status updates, why not turns sports fans into your fans? Offer a discount for new “likes” on Facebook, or have people tag their team spirit pictures and award a free oil change for the best decorated car or clever bumper sticker.
  2. Score Big with Search. Search, you say? What does that have to do with a TV ad? Everything, according to ADP’s Chuck Tilton. “For today’s consumer, the viewing experience and the online experience are intrinsically linked,” Tilton says. “Today’s consumer is watching the game on their couch with their laptops on their lap. We know this because when the commercials air, we can literally watch the web traffic jump minute-over-minute. Search is the bridge between those two worlds, so make sure you are showing up for your key phrases,” he said.
  3. Rock your Online Reviews. Who’s rooting for you? When consumers search your name on commercials, are they going to find roaring fans or booing bad sports? “Reviews are now a form of advertising in their own right, and a powerful one at that,” says ADP’s Matt Muilenburg. Therefore, it’s worth your time to pay extra attention to your reputation monitoring tools in the days leading up to the game. It might even be worth doing a “review drive” to pump things up.
  4. Compete and Conquer. That said, if you don’t have an OEM advertising in the game, don’t despair. If you’ve got a great alternative offering, don’t be afraid to launch a “competitive conquesting” PPC campaign pitting your inventory against the advertised model. The Super Bowl’s all about the spirit of competition, right?
  5. Watch your Language. Yes, you read that right. While colorful phrases may be a quintessential part of the viewing experience, it pays to pick your words carefully when it comes to your Super Bowl ad campaign. Avoid a hefty fine by steering clear of phrases like “Super Bowl” or even “Super Sunday” in your advertising. Try “The Big Game” or perhaps something more creative like “The Dallas Duel to the Death.” True fans will get your drift.
  6. No Parked Pages Please. “This is a huge one I see all the time,” ADP’s James Fabin said, “Nothing kills a sports buzz like a ‘Coming Soon’ or ‘Expired’ page, so update all your pages before the Big Day to capitalize on all those crazed fans.”
  7. Mobile-ize Your Fans. As we’ve already noted, Gen-Y is a huge car-buying market, so that’s one good reason to add mobile to your site for this text-happy crowd. Want an even better one? Cobalt’s research shows mobile users are the most serious about actually making a purchase. “Laptops are for research,” Steckler says, “mobile is for finding a car, finding a price, and finding a dealer near you while the consumer is on the go shopping for their vehicle.” In order to convert those Super Bowl leads to the point-of-sale, mobile is a must.
  8. Give your Campaign more Yardage. We’ve talked about the day of, and the day after, but don’t forget about the day before. According to a recent article, Super Bowl advertisers are beginning their campaigns earlier than ever this year, so get in the game and start early to be competitive.

Everyone Loves an Automotive Marketing Underdog

In conclusion, with at least eight auto-makers and car companies airing ads this year (double the usual number) this could very well be one of the most exciting events for automotive advertising in history. Much like the event itself, with the level playing field created by automotive digital advertising and social media, this year truly is anyone’s game, so don’t be afraid to grab your piece of the action.  Go (whatever team you want to win)!

Contributing Writers

Max Steckler is the Vice President of Advertising Products for ADP Digital Marketing Solutions.  An automotive buff in both his professional and personal life, Max spends his spare time restoring vintage Japanese motorcycles, and is preparing for an off-road motorcycle trip to Alaska.


Matt Muilenburg is Vice President of Social Media  for ADP Digital Marketing Solutions, where  he has been working closely with dealers and OEMs to identify new ways to improve automotive retailing and marketing effectiveness.  When not sitting in front of a gadget, you’ll find Matt volunteering at the YMCA, attending his kids academic, musical and athletic events, or releasing stress by working in his yard and garden.

Chuck Tilton is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at ADP Digital Marketing Solutions.  He has worked extensively in the field of digital marketing since 1996.  Outside the office he and his family enjoy camping in the Cascade Mountains and beaches of the Pacific Northwest.


James Fabin is a Senior Product Marketing Manager at ADP Digital Marketing Solutions. He founded The Hyundai Connection in 1994, one of the earliest online communities for car enthusiasts. In his spare time, he works with local animal rescue shelters creating videos of dogs in need of a loving home.

Dan Ferguson
good points (love the analogy...makes me think of prom night but that's a whole 'nother story). so often tier 3 advertising does not take advantage of the big bucks spent by the first 2. Remember Mazda raking customers away from Pontiac and their "google pontiac" campaign that they ran for March Madness a few years back?
Cobalt An ADP Company
Thanks for the comment, Dan! It's brave to be "first":)

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