1.        Here’s the now famous Nissan ad that lets people “DJ scratch” a record
    2.        I think MINI creates some of the best car Ads anywhere online
    3.        This Yahoo! Autos Ad gets customers involved and then engaged
    4.        This “Car Value” Ad could be used by a dealer with KBB LeadDriver
    5.        Talk about a “Virtual Test Drive”, this VW Ad rates your shifting skills
    6.        Great example of expanding skyscraper Ad on a classified page
    7.        Here’s a BMW Ad that showcases the advantage of using videos
    8.        Subaru Leaderboard Ad as it appears on a website page
    9.        Jeep Ad uses clever attention getting theme to engage customers
    10.        Toyota Ad from when they needed to work at selling Hybrids
In-House Digital Advertising (continued)
In this second installment of our 3 part series on Automotive Digital Advertising we will
take a look at the ads themselves.  What the ads look like, the animation or video they
incorporate, combined with what the dealer’s offer is to prospective car buyers are
among the most important characteristics that determine whether or not the online
portion of a dealer’s ad campaign produces the desired results.  
    Search Engine Advertising - Over 70% of automotive consumers searching for information on vehicles and
    dealers use a Google supplied search engine. So the Google Adwords format dominates the Search Advertising
    considerations for content.  Google limits sponsored links (ads) to a 25 character headline, two lines of ad copy
    limited to 35 characters each, and a URL displayed to consumers that is limited to 25 characters.  Keep in mind
    that the actual targeted URL that the ad points to can be as much as a thousand characters, but the root domain
    of that URL which is shown in the sponsored link is limited to 25 characters.  Here’s what a Google Search Engine
    Ad looks like:
    Your Power Tempe Dealer
    Get One Month of Gas with Purchase.
    Get Our Low Price Quote Today!
    Phoenix, AZ

    Although Search Engine Advertising can achieve some relatively minor levels of dealership brand awareness and
    consideration when viewed, their context of being viewed as the result of a consumer searching for a link to a
    website means that the primary objective for the ad is to get selected and clicked on.  Dealers get to choose
    consumers who see these sponsored links (ads) based on the words searched (keywords) and where the people
    searching for websites relevant to those keywords are physically located (Geotargeted).  Keywords that the
    dealers bids upon are selected based on what the dealer believes will indicate that the searcher is in the market
    to buy a car, order parts or schedule service.  
    Buying Search Advertising - With both Google and Yahoo!, the bidding that determines the cost of a Search
    Advertising Campaign is based on how much a dealer is willing to pay to get a customer to the landing page and
    website of the dealer’s choice.  This is called Cost-Per-Click or CPC and is also known as Pay-Per-Click or PPC
    search engine advertising. In our third installment, we will take a close look at the various ways a dealer can buy
    Digital Advertising, how they each work and examples of dealer invoices based on those billing descriptions.    

    Importance of Creative and Message Content -  In this segment of our 3 part series we are focused on the
    following question: How will you create the text and artwork that is needed for your online advertisements?  Let’s
    face it; very few dealerships have the staff or skills available to create Banner Ads, Animated GIF’s, Video Ads,
    Expanding Display Ads, Multimedia and Interactive Flash-based Ads.  And there are the issues around using
    online display ad hosting services that companies like DoubleClick provide.  There are many requirements and
    other creative materials that your dealership will need to have truly effective online display ads.  OK, I can hear
    what you are thinking… “I’ll get me some cheap software and build ads myself…” Well, before you start believing
    it is that easy (I did), consider this; if you spend a bunch of money to run online ads for your dealership and they
    suck, then you just wasted a pile of cash.  Worse than that, you may have hurt the entire dealership’s reputation
    by displaying amateurish or even offensive looking ads on websites used by your local customer base.  
    Online Ad Campaign Points of Failure - When I look at the difference between online advertising campaigns
    that generate awareness, consideration, traffic and sales results and those that flopped, the two most common
    elements I find missing from poorly performing campaigns are:
    1.        A compelling message that gets a car buyer’s attention
    2.        Visually stimulating Ads that website visitors cannot ignore
    So, perhaps we ought to take a look at what the world’s lead online advertising experts have reviewed and
    selected as the world’s best online automotive ads.  The first place we want to go to see some of the most
    consumer engaging, awareness generating and highest click-through-rate (CTR) online ads for cars, is www.
    BannerBlog.com.  This site specializes in showcasing the best digital ad examples in the world.  Their automotive
    specific advertising examples are at www.bannerblog.com.au/category/automotive/, which you will want to save as
    a favorite.  
    Keep in mind that most of the ads selected require your cursor to either touch the ads or at least pass over the
    ads to see them in action.  BannerBlog.com selects the most highly interactive and engaging online ad designs
    for what they show as best in class. Also note that the site strips away landing page links to decommercialize the
    ads for BannerBlog.com display purposes.  In the list of descriptions and links below I have listed 30 of my
    favorite display ads from BannerBlog.com’s automotive section:
Copyright © 2008 Automotive Dealers Network. All rights reserved.
    Display Advertising - For most dealers, the objective of online advertising is to generate traffic into dealership
    showrooms and websites.  However, if a dealer wants to “brand” the dealership while increasing the levels of
    consideration and top-of-mind awareness amongst automotive consumers within the store’s local market, then
    display advertising is one of today’s most cost effective ways of getting it done.  Driving traffic into a dealer’s
    website can also be achieved with online advertising, but both branding and traffic focused campaigns are highly
    dependant on the look and feel generated by the artwork and messaging contained within the advertisements
Ralph Paglia
Director – Digital Marketing / ADP Dealer Services
Ralph has held positions such as OEM Partnership
Executive for Reynolds and Reynolds, CRM/eBusiness
Director, New Car Sales Manager, Used Car Manager, F&I
Director, General Sales Manager and General Manager. He
led the development and design of nationally implemented
CRM and eBusiness programs for Ford, Honda, Mercedes-
Benz, Toyota and other car companies. He also designed
Ford’s BDC program Mercedes-Benz StarLeads CRM
system and the Mercedes-Benz BDC.
part 2 of 3

    Know what to Outsource - So, for most dealerships the real question here is who will you outsource this work
    to?  Who are the suppliers/vendors that specialize in creating automotive advertising content suitable for display
    on local and national websites?  Obviously I am biased, but I would be doing you a big disservice if I did not
    inform you that ADP’s Digital Marketing Group (my employer) offers Digital Advertising creative services for car
    dealers.  Because this article is not meant to be a commercial promotion, I will also list several of ADP
    competitors who do a good job of providing advertising content creation services for dealers.  

    Like most digital advertising suppliers, ADP can manage each dealer’s media buys across a wide range of
    website networks. However, they are one of the few Digital Ad suppliers to offer dealers the option of buying
    multimedia advertising creative services on a subscription basis.  This allows dealers to make their own media
    buys on a direct basis, and have professionally produced digital advertisements. You can learn more about ADP’
    s Digital Advertising services at www.ADPDigitalAdvertising.com.  

    There are several other suppliers that have online display advertising solutions that dealers should consider
    using.  I have personally checked quite a few out, using my own credit card to open accounts and then building
    ads for the dealerships I work with.  After all, I wanted to see what my own team at ADP needed to capable of
    delivering, and see what types of better could be improved upon so that we could be more competitive in the
    marketplace.  In addition to the program I helped create at ADP, there are 3 automotive digital advertising
    suppliers that I found to have the best creative content capabilities for a “DIY” dealer.  That gives you a total of 4
    sources to check out:

    1.        ADP Digital Advertising; available online at www.ADPDigitalAdvertising.com
    2.        AdMission Ads for Auto Dealers; online at www.AdMission.net/autos/
    3.        AdReady; available online at www.AdReady.com
    4.        Adverstore; create your own ads online at www.Adverstore.com

    In the section below I have listed descriptions and links to several resources associated with each of these 4
    suppliers for viewing actual advertising examples and templates:

    o        You can view examples of AdReady’s automotive dealer ad templates at http://www.adready.
    com/ads/public/1.  Be sure to check out the advertising template titled “Bottom Line” on page 2 by selecting
    “zoom” when you click on it.  I believe that with current market conditions, this campaign would be quite effective
    in generating click-throughs.

    o        AdMission has an excellent “gallery” section where you can look at several actual dealership display
    advertising campaigns, be sure to check out Honda Mall of Georgia’s campaigns by clicking on the appropriate
    icon at http://www.admission.net/gallery/index.php

    o        Adverstore.com offers a very inexpensive “Do-It-Yourself” online display ad builder tool that you can use
    to create static image ads and animated GIF ads.  Once you create and buy the ad, you can use it anywhere
    that accepts the file and size formats created and you own it forever for a one time low fee.  The ads you can
    build at Adverstore are not very sophisticated, but for less than a hundred bucks you can build a selection of
    over a dozen ads from various templated designs, including a very robust section for car dealers available by
    selecting the “Automotive” category in their sector selection at http://www.adverstore.com/

    o        ADP Digital Advertising will sometimes show dealers with larger campaign budgets how their ads will look
    on the actual websites used in the campaign by creating site mock ups and then sending links to the dealer or
    Digital Marketing Manager to approve the advertising creative. Here are a few examples of ADP Digital
    Advertising showing how a dealer’s ads will look on targeted websites:

    o        Yahoo! Autos: http://beta.bzresults.com/nada-2008/digital-advertising/yahoo.html
    o        Kelley Blue Book: http://beta.bzresults.com/nada-2008/digital-advertising/kbb.html
    o        AccuWeather.com: http://www.herbchambers.com/custom/banners/accuweather.html
    o        The Drudge Report website: http://beta.bzresults.com/nada-2008/digital-advertising/drudge.html
    o        The Boston Herald Newspaper website: http://www.herbchambers.com/custom/banners/herald.html
    o        The Providence Journal local newspaper website: http://beta.bzresults.com/nada-2008/digital-
    o        You can also check out a web page with 28 different animated ads ADP created for Tasca Ford and
    Lincoln Mercury at www.FordDigital.com .  Click on the ad thumbnails to see the actual full size ad and the
    animated messaging included.

    Shown below are several images provided as examples of dealership advertising creative used in online digital
    advertising campaigns:
The Bottom Line – Regardless of how much or how little your dealership intends to spend on digital advertising, it is
imperative to solve the problem of getting good advertising creative content.  For most dealerships, the same people
who came up with newspaper, radio, TV, direct mail and outdoor advertising will have the skills and experience to create
ad campaign offers and messaging.  Their experience in your local marketplace is an invaluable resource on knowing
what has worked in the past with the local population of car buyers.  Getting online ads built that look good and make
use of the unique capabilities that the Internet has to offer is a different story.

Look around, find a way to get ads built for your store - When I worked at Courtesy Chevrolet I liked to run ad
campaigns on Cars.com because they built great looking display and banner ads that were eye catching and had good
click-through rates… Plus, Cars.com would usually give me a version of the ad in animated GIF file format that I could
upload into Google Adwords and then insert into thousands of websites so that when people located in Phoenix would
visit those sites, my ads would appear.  This was a tremendous value-add for me and is probably one of the reasons
that to this day I like working with Cars.com.  

When I worked with John Anderson, the Northern California dealer who owns Anderson Honda in Palo Alto and Courtesy
Chevrolet in San Jose, he had a Marketing Manager by the name of Allan Verbouwens who was skilled at using
expensive and sophisticated software that had been purchased for creating color newspaper advertising. Al used this
same software to make online ready display ads.  This was great because we would come up with a concept, Al would
build ads, and then we would get them uploaded into Google Adwords and have them running on hundreds of national
websites when locals visited them within 48 hours.  However, out of the hundreds of dealerships I have worked with, it
seems that highly skilled creative people like Al are a rarity.  So, for most dealers the solution will be to find a supplier or
online creative service such as Adverstore.com to generate decent (but not great) looking display ads.  This brings up
one of the more complex conflicts of interest in this emerging and fairly new type of advertising for dealers.  

Watch out for the so-called freebies! - Beware of the Digital Advertising suppliers that offer you “free” advertising
creative services… as long as you buy your ad placements with them.  In my opinion, dealers are better off knowing
exactly what advertising creative services cost, rather than to be faced with the prospect of overpaying on thousands of
dollars worth of website and network placements.  It is not worth getting ripped off on $10,000 to $30,000 a month worth
of CPM charges, just to get a few hundred dollars worth of free ads.  To put this in perspective, my team at ADP Digital
Advertising will build and host all the multimedia animated ads you can eat for $495 a month…  In this new age of digital
advertising, this is where traditional ad agencies SHOULD be going, into providing the creative services that dealers
need to have really good online ads like the ones I showed you earlier in this article at BannerBlog.com.  In the
meantime, I am certain that more automotive suppliers will be getting into the business of creating high impact, powerful
and engaging ads that appear online to help dealers grab the attention of people who buy more than 80% of the
vehicles retailed by American car dealers.