by Steven Frigard
Be “Production Prepared”! — Building Your Dealership’s Visual Archive Can’t Wait
CBC has long recommended that dealerships keep a local, up-to-date video and photography library to stand out from competitors. Any dealership can lean on manufacturer-provided assets, and that’s fine if you’re the only dealer that carries your brand in your market. However, if you have local same-brand competition, then your nearest competitor can clone your ad in an instant. That’s why you need your own footage. This best practice has come to light in new ways during this time of crisis, where capturing new imagery has become challenging.
During the current crisis, CBC has urged our clients to show the communities they serve that they are standing ready to help whenever the time is right. Sound and Motion Studios, CBC’s production arm, has been able to help dealerships navigate these complex times by using deep libraries of locally-shot client footage gathered on a regular basis. When visiting clients for a shoot, we gather as much footage as possible. We shoot the service counter, service bays, waiting area, lot and showroom well beyond what is needed for the next spot. We use our own crews whenever possible, including Creative Directors and shooters that understand how CBC approaches post-production and can recognize elements beyond a script that may benefit the client in the future.
For one dealer group, we even staged a remote local shoot to simulate a new home-delivery service. The client sent a package full of company-branded items including shirts, dealership license plates and frames, paperwork, stickers and merchandising pieces. Then we went into the field to demonstrate their new process, making Southern Maine look like Central Pennsylvania. If you’re struggling with getting footage, now is the time to ask your production people to get creative!
Along with utilizing this gathered footage, we’re also keenly aware of how stock footage can fill a gap when timing or expense doesn’t allow for a traditional shoot. However, it’s important to use stock footage to enhance a client’s presence, rather than as a crutch. It can be easy to fall into a cycle of using this type of footage for a clean, professional spot, but it can also wash out with all the other content out there using the same footage. This is especially relevant now, with the video offerings on-air and online during this pandemic. Whenever a client’s video presence is recognizably real and unique, it strengthens the sense of community within their marketplace and the value of the message.
When things began to shut down, most CBC clients were already well-positioned. Because of that, they have been able to be message-leaders in their communities. All dealerships and groups should aim to do the same. By adapting to present challenges, dealerships and groups can take advantage of affordable production options to keep video libraries current and diverse, thus helping them to stand out for the right reasons.
When the time’s right to discuss your marketing plans, including your production assets, let’s have a conversation.