Automotive Digital Marketing

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I bet you thought Internet fame means increased sales for your business. Nope. Just ask Chuck Testa. The California taxidermist became an internet phenomenon when he released this comically dry advertisement for his Ojai Valley specialty business. The campy, low-budget Youtube spot monotonously claims that Testa’s stuffed animals look so real, you’ll probably think they’re alive. Within days, the video had gone completely viral, garnering over two million views within 48 hours. Since then, the Ojai Valley commercial has become an Internet classic, inspiring dozens of online mockeries and memes.

But despite his newfound Internet fame, Mr. Testa hasn’t had much business to show for it. This might have something to do with the fact that the man sells exotic dead animals. It’s not much of a consumer product. But outside of a few “Nope” T-shirts, Internet fame hasn’t done much to stymie demand. Since his viral video hit last year, Testa says that his store has done nothing but“business as usual.”

“I’m still broke,” Testa says. The Internet notoriety may have even made the taxidermy business even tougher. After his video became an Internet sensation, someone bought domain name and attempted to sell it back to Testa at an extraordinary price. Testa’s voicemail is populated mostly with prank calls instead of new requests. A few months ago, his attire in the video even had some speculating that Testa was a Nazi – and that’s never good for business.

So what?

The auto industry in particular spends a lot of time, money, and effort on video content. How many ridiculous “car guy” commercials have you seen? Sometimes we even get a glimpse of how stressful making a viral video really is. How much do your customers value these attempts? Do they visit your dealership more often because of it?

In the 21st century, your consumers will rely on your website and online information more than anything else. Instead of trying to find Internet fame with campy commercials, devote your time to creating customer solutions that will drive potential buyers to you. Rather than thinking up the perfect tagline for your next commercial, focus on creating content to optimize your dealership page and drive more qualified traffic to your site. Don’t worry about funding that viral hit – implement a better user web experience first. Your customers will appreciate it.

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Comment by Stephen Jackson on June 27, 2012 at 11:13am


You called it right - I've never sold a car in my life. Never even had a lemonade stand. My area of expertise is in online marketing, and I was legitimately surprised to learn that Mr. Testa reported very little growth as the result of his 18 million Youtube views. I thought you guys might be interested too. 

However, the pictures of you guys holding bonafide Testa products are completely awesome, and they make me think that Chuck may have been downplaying his personal success. After all, the ads worked if you guys bought them, right?

I'm not trying to "push" anything. I only included the link back to ActivEngage's website for SEO purposes. And I'm certainly not trying to downplay a good commercial - there is TONS of value in making one. I'm not trying to sound authoritative either - the story of Chuck Testa's alleged business slowdown left me with more questions than answers about the power of video content. 

I posted this to see what you guys thought - and so far, that's exactly what I got. It's a bar I don't mind walking into. Thanks for the excellent share, Ken, and I'll give your regards to Todd. 

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 10:42am

@ Ralph - Thank you very much as always my friend....... was hoping we could`ve hung out for a night while you were in Jersey a few weeks ago.....

@ Ketty - Celebrity endorsements are are absolutely perfect from a manufacturers standpoint branding-wise.............. I guess it would possibly have a positive effect for a dealership also............. if you wanna pay-the-piper for such services.....

Comment by Ralph Paglia on June 27, 2012 at 10:39am

Here is a direct link to Ken Beam's Videos on ADM...

Comment by Ketty Colom on June 27, 2012 at 10:37am

What can we say? Our social media team loves to contribute to threads. ;-) 

But in seriousness, what do you think of celebrity endorsements? 

Comment by Ralph Paglia on June 27, 2012 at 10:36am

The best example of using Vehicle Presentation Videos (VPV) to sell more cars that I have seen in the past 15 years has been Douglas Auto Group and Ken Beam.  With a little pressure from ADM, I think we could get Ken Beam to come to Las Vegas in September for AutoCon 2012 to show us how he does it!  As for examples, all you have to do is go into the ADM Video section and search "Ken Beam"... All his videos are good!

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 10:32am

lol~ And here comes the entire ActivEngage Gang!~ lol.......... 

Comment by Ketty Colom on June 27, 2012 at 10:28am

I personally LOVE that Acura has Jerry Seinfeld. =)

Comment by Ketty Colom on June 27, 2012 at 10:25am

What do you guys think of celebrity endorsements? There is a study saying that it isn't worth the money: study that most endorsements aren't worth the $ spent

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 10:23am

I agree Kelly................. Pat hit the nail on the head........... but I don`t think this was Stephen`s "main point"...

He obviously wants to "push" his product while down-playing another Marketing-tool to make his point....................... I guess.


Comment by Kelly Holloway on June 27, 2012 at 10:16am

There are hundreds of great examples of videos produced by dealerships that have resulted in an increase of vehicle sales (including those below posted by Ken) however, there are also just as many examples of cheesy, non-relevant videos which have the reverse effect. I think the main point of this post is not to strive to have the funniest, most popular video on Youtube, but like Patrick said, to have appealing, content-rich videos that will drive traffic to your website and physical location and entice visitors to want to buy from your dealership. 

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