Professional Community for Car Dealers, Automotive Marketers and Sales Managers
It may sound funny, but a remote-control toy could mean the difference between showing 10% of your inventory, and showing your entire inventory - any time you want.
The front of a dealership is the side that potential customers see, but the average lot might only have room for roughly two dozen cars in that space. The back lot, on the other hand, often has upwards of 200 vehicles, all ready and waiting to be shown. The question then becomes, just how do you show that to potential buyers?
When a customer is physically visiting, it's easy enough to offer them a look any vehicles you may have parked back there - it's a non-issue if they've already made the trip to see you. No such offer can be made during a 30-second commercial, though. If they see lines of cars, they could easily think they're housed elsewhere, that those cars would have to be delivered just to be test-driven, or that it's stock footage of some other line of cars at some other lot. You can't blame them for the skepticism - all they see is what's out front when they drive by!
Attempting to show the scope of a full inventory isn't easy - and hiring a helicopter to fly overhead once a quarter is simply cost-prohibitive. This is where a new "toy" called the Quadcopter comes into play - because it goes from a plaything to a useful advertising tool the second you mount a camera to its belly.
Loaded with a small camera, like a GoPro, a quadcopter can be flown by anyone, at any time, with little more than a couple of hours practice and a few AA batteries. Initial cost of the setup is comparatively cheap - at around $1,000 for the copter and camera, this one-time investment trumps repeated rentals of a boom lift or the absurdly expensive chartering of a full-size helicopter.
To get an idea of how this looks in action, have a look at this short video clip. This was filmed over Harbor Hyundai in Long Beach, CA. a DJI Phantom quadcopter was used, with a GoPro camera mounted underneath on a gimble. This short clip shows just how much inventory can be shown, but the copter could easily have been flown nearer to ground-level, and shot video there instead (like the picture above).
But the uses for a quadcopter don't end at full-inventory shots. These little vehicles can hover just a few feet off the ground, or 60 feet in the air - they're even small enough to slowly "walk" through a row of cars, at eye-level, if your piloting skills are up to par.
What it comes down to is "what's everyone else doing?" If you're showing views of your entire inventory, then swooping down to show individual models up close, zipping from car to car - all in one continuous little show - well that's certainly different. The other guys aren't doing that.