This week I stumbled upon a priceless video of a Cal Worthington TV commercial from 1979. He’s infamous here in Southern California and I’ve never met a better car dealer than Calvin Coolidge Worthington. He knew instinctively how to draw people into his store. You wanted to go there just to see him and ‘his dog Spot’. Heck, watching this video made me want to go down to the dealership right now and pick his brain. Even though it’s 30 years ago, his tactics are sublime:
- He offered helpful gifts just for stoppin’ by, “I got a whole bunch of goodies for ya”. A locking gas cap, an umbrella hat to keep the sun off your head.
- “Don’t drive around burnin’ your gas, burn mine! I’ll give you 10 gallons just for droppin by to say hello”
- “You don’t have to buy the car from me…just see me first!”
- “I know I’ve got the car you’re lookin for, I think I can save you a gang of money!”
- “Here’s where your friends are, here’s where the bargains are!”
- “I’ve been here 30 years so come by for Service or another car, I ain’t goin no place!”
As I heard him saying these things, it struck me how much like Social Media his approach was. If these were said on Twitter and Facebook today, you’d want to go down there…even if you’re not in the market for a new car. His tactics were all about getting you into the store. He created a lead through an idea, a story, and that’s what any advertising campaign is about.
Popular author and marketing expert, Seth Godin says “Reminding the consumer of a story they know and trust is a powerful shortcut.” Cal’s genius was that he could communicate that story by just walking around the lot with a camera on him. If today’s dealerships can create their own story–and there are many stories to be told everyday–the shortcut will be conveying that message through Social Media. Create a reason for someone to want to buy their car from you, amplify it through your Social Media network and the leads will come in faster than you can say “See Me First!”