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 Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 9:35am

Hmmmmmmm......... interesting(?) thread....

First off, Stephen..... have you ever sold cars??? I have a feeling the answer is no........
Although EVERYONE is entitled to voice their own opinions (& that`s what makes ADM so enlightening/cool right?")
so I do question your "Authorative-tone" in regards to this subject........ok..... now I`m done questioning your tone. -lol~

What I will share with you young man is this not only do I make car videos, but I`m also a member too.......of the Chuck Testa Fan Club!
 See below some of Chucksters work;

Ask Pat Nash what happened to this Coyote......wait......don`t ask!
Chuckster has this right now...... soon to be in my office.

Me and lil` Steve

Now as of today 18,678 people have viewed this JX35 video since it was uploaded on April 5th 2012;


I can`t tell you how many have actually came to our dealership because of this video (well......really... I don`t want to tell you!-lol)

Now do we add a hint of humour once in awhile to the clips?? Sure we do........Watch this entire clip because Pat gets involved in this one! -lol
(By the way....... this CC was sold as a result of this clip......two days after it was posted)

Now here is something else that I will share with Stephen, the ROI in regards to our videos is significantly higher than anything
we ever accomplished at the Douglas Auto Group while utilizing "
better user web experience" - and that`s not my opinion, that`s a fact.

Both Chat & Video have their own unique purposes in our Digital Marketing World.......... and what is right for one dealership may
not necessarily be right for the other........ that`s why they make vanilla and why they make chocolate right???

Say hi to Todd for me.......

Ken Beam 

Comment by Ken Beam on June 27, 2012 at 9:32am

Steve....... I think you walked into the wrong bar today..........

Comment by Patrick Nash on June 27, 2012 at 8:58am
Comment by Stephen Jackson on June 27, 2012 at 8:45am

Hey Patrick,

I love hearing that your video made a direct impact on sales! I agree with you completely - especially that dealer videos should be content heavy. Would you mind linking a sample of the Douglas Auto Group videos so we can see what works for you guys?

Comment by Patrick Nash on June 27, 2012 at 8:40am

Stephen, I help make a lot of vehicle presentations here at Douglas Auto Group. You may know Ken Beam, our Digital Marketing director and actor in our videos. I can't walk across either our Infiniti or VW dealership floors with Ken without customers yelling out, "there's the guy I saw in the video." More importantly, the customers usually say they came to our dealership because of the videos. We have an Infiniti JX video with 18,000 YouTube hits since it premiered in April of this year. I say conservatively that 50 customers have come into our Infiniti dealership saying they are purchasing their JX at our dealership because of the video. Alot of these people owned Acura MDXs. Our video's main focus was comparing the Infiniti JX to the Acura MDX.

Now, I'll be the first to agree that goofy car commercials are a complete waste of time. There's nothing worse for me personally than to sit on my couch at night and see somebody dressed up like a superhero making a mockery out of what I do for a living.

So I think the real point is that it's probably better to focus your time, effort and energy on other avenues of marketing than to produce a goofy car video. However, a quality, educational and content heavy YouTube clip (AT NO COST TO THE DEALERSHIP) is probably the most effective use of a dealership's time rather than outsourcing your resources to a vendor.

Comment by Stephen Jackson on June 27, 2012 at 7:53am

Ralph -

I never meant to say that a good commercial can't go a long way. In fact, I completely encourage creative ways to promote your dealership. But if you're geared more towards humor than sales, a laugh might be all you get.

Remember this?

Comment by Ralph Paglia on June 27, 2012 at 7:46am

Stephen, you raise several valid issues worth considering, however I would not agree with any statement that indicates dealership produced vehicles cannot be used to sell more cars... I have seen so many examples of dealership made videos accelerating the sale of more vehicles that there is no doubt in my mind as to their effectiveness when produced and distributed properly.

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