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Authentic Vehicle Walk-Around Video Versus Contrived B Roll TV Spots or Pan and Zoom Fakes

What types of video work better? Authentic Vehicle Walk-Around Presentations or Videos assembled from OEM supplied "B Roll" intended for TV Spots... Or, the ever popular mass produced Pan and Zoom "fake" videos made from the still images photographed for inventory listings?


Last week I had the honor and privilege of both attending and speaking at the Digital Marketing Strategies Conference produced by Carrie Hemphill, Brian Pasch, Glen Pasch and the team at First Class Educators.  On the last day of this 3 day event, Brian Pasch presented a $2,000 cash prize and an award for the best vehicle presentation video.  I was among several people who were, and are, very disappointed with the video clip that was selected as the winner.  In my opinion, the Infiniti of Lisle video clip that was selected as the winner may be very well produced, but it is far from the best video presentation video we have seen, nor was it the best of those submitted.  Why do I disagree with Brian Pasch's selection? Because as polished as it is, it reeks of "fake" and does little to convey a sense of genuine excitement or passion on the part of the person presenting the Infiniti G37 showcased.  The clip also makes extensive use of OEM supplied "B Roll" footage and is highly "produced" with slick transitions, special effects and titling.  All of the slick production effects are nice, and add polish, but do little to convey a sense of genuine excitement about the vehicle or any type of exclusivity to the dealership providing the clip.


The video shown below is one I shot while in the audience in Las Vegas during Brian Ppasch's presentation of the "Best Video" award for a vehicle presentation... It contains a viewing of the winning clip:

In all fairness to Infiniti of Lisle, I am embedding their award winning video as seen on YouTube below:

2012 Infiniti G37 -- Available now at Infiniti of Lisle


Now, after watching the Infiniti of Lisle video presentation, it's time to take a look at several other vehicle presentation videos and then express your opinion about which of these clips would inspire YOU to either pick up a phone and call the dealership, visit the dealership in person, or even submit an online inquiry about the vehicle being presented:

NJ VW | 2012 Volkswagen CC Sport Review | Douglas VW in Summit NJ Union County NJ`s Select VW

A Luxury mid-size Sports Sedan at a Volkswagen price here`s the all-New 2012 VW CC Sport! Known for it`s signature striking looks, the 2012 VW CC offers outstanding style, performance, fuel economy and affordability! Get a feel for what this awesome V-Dub is all about as Ken Beam from Douglas Volkswagen in Summit New Jersey, demonstrates the 2012 CC Features, compares other cars in it`s class such as the Acura TSX, Nissan Maxima, and Lexus IS-250 and shows you the benefits that put this Volkswagen truly in a class of it`s own.

*Please visit our New website at and stop by 491 Morris Ave. in Summit and take the All-New 2012 CC for a spin!

**See our current New Car Specials;

*Remember.... All Volkswagen VW CCs are created equal, however all VW Dealers in New Jersey are different.... and after being in business in Summit since 1965, we cordially invite you to stop by Douglas VW to experience the Douglas Difference!

*Thank you very much for watching.


Shown below is a Video presentation of a Buick Ranier SUV by Tim Jennings that was prepared by Tim on a solo basis while he worked for Tom Sparks Buick in Dekalb, Illinois: Please call for availability 815-739-6054. My name is Tim Jennings, I have 18 years of automotive experience, 15 at Tom Sparks Buick. I have successfully earned the business of 1500 people in the DeKalb area, 3500 people from 243 Illinois communities, plus over 100 people from 2 states.. I strive to do this in a friendly fashion. It is my job to search the Internet and price our vehicles as competitively as possible. I provide cars and trucks of exceptional quality and reasonable cost to our customers. All of our used cars go through a 110-point inspection process. I insure our customers satisfaction through honest sales practices, responsive service and friendly communication at all levels. At Tom Sparks we approach each customer on the Internet and in person with the belief that we are developing a life-long relationship, beneficial to both parties. You can be confident I will be here after each sale to help fill your continuing automotive needs. When you call or visit our dealership in person please ask for me. I have been the Internet manager at Tom Sparks Inc since its inception in 1999. At TomSparks.Com you will start with me. Tom Sparks Auto is the premier Used Car Dealership in Dekalb-Sycamore IL. We are located in Dekalb, Illinois but we serve all of Northern IL and Chicago. We even offer FREE transportation to and from Chicago Airports. The cities we serve include Hinckley, Rochelle, Rockford, St Charles, Elgin, Waterman, Shabbona, Malta, and anyone looking for Worry-Free Car Buying in the states of Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin! At Tom Sparks Automotive we have many Used Cars to choose from including Buick, Pontiac, GMC, Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Chevrolet, Dodge, Hyundai and Kia. For more information about Tom Sparks, please visit


For comparison purposes, let's take a look at a vehicle review video from regarding the 2009 Honda Accord... It is interesting to note that this fairly professional video clip does not make use of "Pan and Zoom" nor does it include OEM supplied "B Roll" footage... It is all real and all genuine.  Could we perhaps learn something from these automotive reporting professionals?

From My Homies in Phoenix

The following video presentation of the 2012 Chevrolet Volt is a long 10 minute clip from Bryan Long at Courtesy Chevrolet in Phoenix, but it is fresh and new in its approach and content.  This is both innovative and informative without being overly produced.  In fact, the shaky camera work in the beginning seems to add an air of authenticity to the whole clip.  If you take the time to watch Bryan's complete presentation he shows what it is like to commute to work using the Chevy Volt at over 100 MPG... He even shows a Toyota Prius cutting him off in traffic, but makes up for it with some head banging Guns 'N Roses blasting from the Volt's sound system.  I really enjoyed this clip and thousands of car buyers in Phoenix did as well!

BLong Rocks the House of Courtesy in Phoenix!!!

Sorry about that outburst... My enthusiasm for the crew at Courtesy Chevrolet continues unabated... Bryan Long's video is the clip I would have chosen for the $2,000 award.  The originality and innovative presentation of a Chevy Volt is both unique and compelling... But most of all, very real and authentic!

There is no doubt that the Rob Fontano inspired 2012 Infiniti G37 video presentation from Infiniti of Lisle is an excellent piece of work, and for that matter, almost all videos produced by dealerships are better than none at all... But, what will resonate with automotive consumers as being genuine, authentic and relevant to their real world needs? The highly produced, or the more personalized and authentic?

Views: 1560

Tags: Authentic, B, Contrived, Fakes, Pan, Roll, Spots, TV, Vehicle, Versus, More…Video, Walk-Around, Zoom, and, or


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Comment by Patrick Nash on February 14, 2012 at 1:24pm

Anyone at a dealership who is vertical, ventilating and has opposable thumbs can do a walk-around video. There's no excuse not to do it. I think Kenny and myself do a pretty job at it but it's not rocket science. If I ran a dealership and didn't have the resources to hire marketing personnel to do the clips, I would have salespeople kill the dead hours on the showroom floor by going outside with a flip cam and a little bit of energy. The most excited I ever see people at our dealerships is when they spot Kenny and yell, "hey, you're the guy in the videos!" There's no price tag on authenticity.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 14, 2012 at 1:14pm

KevinKelly - If the Pan and Zoom videos do not work as well as the genuine walk-around videos, and management is responsible for finding tactics that work for selling more cars and being more competitive in the marketplace, then isn't it management's job, or at least an important part of their job to find ways of balancing resources so they can generate enough genuine walk-around videos to make the dealership more competitive in the marketplace?

Comment by on February 14, 2012 at 10:31am

Having sold the "Pan and Zoom fakes" as you call them and recorded Authentic Recorded walk around videos, there is no question the authentic recorded walk around videos produce much better and higher quality leads.  In fact, I have two dealerships where we are able to bring in double the amount of leads than the third party lead generators with a much higher sales conversion from the wake around videos.  However these dealerships are the exception, not the rule.  As the majority of dealerships, it becomes a question of time and resources, no matter what statistics we show, they simply can't rotate out 10 to 15 videos a month.  So they use the "fake pan and zoom video" though not as effective, it works and most of your vendors like DS, autouplink, auto123 and others can do it at a reasonable cost.   The take away for me is the two dealerships that do the Authentic Walk around videos are leaders in digital marketing, consequently they also are the top selling Lexus and Honda dealerships in the area.    

Comment by Ken Beam on February 12, 2012 at 11:47am

Here`s one I just cut this past Friday......... pass it around to all of your Friends! Remember the "Clint Eastwood" Super Bowl Commercial?? Watch the end of this one! Hope you like it!


Comment by Ken Beam on February 11, 2012 at 2:01pm

Hi Joe - Thank you very much, I do appreciate the nice words. As for Editing Software one of my favorites to use is Avid Media Composer 6, I find it extremely versatile. My colleague Pat and myself are constantly developing new/unique ways of utilizing video in our overall Digital Marketing Strategy. One of our objectives is to attempt give you(the Customer) some sort of "Wow/Cool Factor" when you watch it, so that hopefully after watching it you`ll be like, "Hey I wanna check out Douglas VW, it looks like a fun place to do business with"................. and you know what Joe?........ it works.

Thanks again,


Comment by Joe Angrisano on February 10, 2012 at 8:31pm

Ken... great job as always.  Are you using any special editing software for the occasional video editing and titles?  Thanks!  If anyone else has a favorite video editing software for PC let us know.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 10, 2012 at 8:02pm

Tom Gorham - I really enjoyed the salesperson presentation of the Chevy Volt from Apple Chevrolet... It is both personal and professional, while conveying the sincerity and expertise of the salesperson in the clip.

Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 10, 2012 at 7:54pm

I get a big kick out of Manny Luna's Big Rig Truck video walk-around! That is some serious hardware being demonstrated! A 75,000# hoist?!?! holy moly...

Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 10, 2012 at 7:52pm

Ya gotta love the cricket sounds that open up and finish Ken Beams' "Some things are better at night" videos...

Comment by Ralph Paglia on February 10, 2012 at 7:48pm

I still make use of my Flip Video camera and am very pleased with the results... Although, for spontaneity, there are many times when my iPhone is the tool of choice based on having it my hand when something becomes a video opportunity...

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