Skip. The button most people hit so they can ignore the ad and go straight to the YouTube video they wanted to watch. But what if that ad was customized to every unique viewer with the current offer available at their local dealership for the exact car they were just shopping for?
Wouldn’t you want that pre-roll ad to be from your dealership?
Car dealers spend an enormous amount of money on advertising, and while most capitalize on digital advertising through paid search or social media, they still pour thousands into traditional media, particularly TV. What they fail to realize is the goldmine of opportunities at their fingertips through advertising on YouTube. While traditional media is on the decline, YouTube is skyrocketing. In fact, 39 million households no longer pay for traditional TV, with 14,000 cable subscribers cutting the cord every day. YouTube, on the other hand, has over 190 million subscribers in the U.S.
For years, experts from Google have advised dealers that video advertising on YouTube will add tremendous opportunities to reach more in-market consumers. The challenge becomes making the videos relevant to the audience. Although Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) create advertising videos that provide beautiful content, they deploy generalized messaging that isn’t customized to the viewer’s exact interests, shopping behavior and target price — making it far less relevant and often wasting ad spend.
But everything you know about video advertising has changed thanks to video tech leader Advid. Advid is an intelligent video advertising platform that simplifies the process of creating and maintaining video ads at scale, making video advertising more efficient for advertisers. Its unique technology creates relevant video ads, then uploads, buys, and maintains the videos on YouTube automatically. As it specifically pertains to automotive, Advid produces customizable videos for every make and model in a dealer’s inventory, complete with dynamic offers and creative, providing a relevant advertisement for each unique viewer. The ads are updated nightly based on changes in inventory, pricing, incentives and disclaimers, so they are always up to date with the most recent information. This means dealers don’t have to lift a finger when it comes to the videos; Advid has all the bases covered from start to finish.
By utilizing Advid’s technology in a recent pilot in the Chicago market, we saw a significant lift in conversions, search intent and a 53% increase in phone calls. The pilot results were so impactful that we wanted to make Advid available to all our dealers.”
— Jeramie Westbay, Manager of Retail Digital Experience at Audi
Redefining Video in the Technology Era
Although digital video has quickly become the fastest-growing consumer medium, with time spent watching online video up 20% since 2016, video production has remained a time-consuming and expensive headache by most people’s standards. It takes hours to film, edit and create a final product worthy of the brand the company represents. Although YouTube is an amazing advertising platform, it’s still practically impossible for dealers to produce brand-level and regulation-compliant videos with the correct imagery and exact monthly offers for every model in their inventory.
This technology pitfall halted the automotive industry, leaving dealers with no choice but to implement generic videos repurposed from television advertisements and commercials. Unsurprisingly, these dime-a-dozen advertisements didn’t entice customers to purchase — or even view — the vehicles shown.
“One of the best ways to market and connect with consumers is through the power of video — sight, sound and motion together are more powerful than any display ad,” said David Boice, CEO of Advid. “The problem was, dealers couldn’t produce all the videos on their own. So we looked for technology that we could bring into the car business to solve the problem. As it turned out, nothing existed. From that moment on, we knew we had to create it from scratch.”
Enter Advid, the platform that would finally give dealers the ability to advertise every new and used model in their inventory through a dynamic video ad and to target people with a unique offer on the model they are interested in at the time they are interested.
“We’re all looking for immediate access to content online, and we’re using YouTube to search and close that gap more and more. We’re subjected to pre-roll videos whether we like it or not,” Boice continued. “Many times, the ads mean nothing to us, so we just skip them as soon as we can. But when one comes up that is relevant and personalized to you, you’re more likely to watch it.”
In the technology era, consumers have higher expectations than ever before. They demand excellence at every encounter, expecting advertisers to help them faster, know them better and wow them everywhere. Taking this into consideration, Boice and his team designed Advid to create ads that are far from cookie cutter.
“If you’re a Toyota dealership and you sell 30 different models and you have at least one of every model in stock, Advid is going to automatically produce 30 videos for every model. But this is where it gets fun — Advid goes a step further to generate a payment-based offer unique to each customer, then dynamically shows consumers the most relevant ad based on their shopping behavior,” said Boice.
However, the creative is only half the battle. There are strict guidelines to advertising inventory which require constant updates to the videos for them to be compliant with the manufacturer. Since YouTube does not have an API, videos typically must be manually uploaded.
“For manufacturers, incentives are constantly changing, anywhere from three to four times a month. Plus, you cannot advertise a car that you don’t have in stock. With Advid, if the incentives or inventory change, the videos change, so it’s constantly creating new videos every day. Manual uploads to YouTube weren’t going to cut it, so we developed a proprietary API-like function to automatically upload all videos into YouTube while simultaneously removing the old ones,” Boice explained. “We produce and upload about 35,000 new videos per month into YouTube. To put that in perspective, that’s more videos than even Netflix uploads on a monthly basis. The sheer volume Advid handles and processes is what makes it so difficult to replicate.”
Can you imagine the ability to advertise to a specific person, or a specific targeted audience, with an offer-based video message on the exact car they are shopping for?”
— Brian Benstock, Paragon Honda and Acura in Woodside, NY.
Leveraging the Power of Video to Maximize Digital Performance
It’s no surprise that nearly 100% of car dealerships today are doing some form of search marketing; however, according to Boice, very little of that is built and utilized for YouTube.
“Most dealers have some presence on Google, but I’d say only 5% of dealers have an advertising presence on YouTube,” Boice explained.
According to Google, almost 80% of all search will be directed and generated through video by 2022. That, coupled with YouTube’s continued growth and Google’s continued product promotion, creates an extensive opportunity for dealers to expand their reach. Plus, in comparison to traditional media advertising, YouTube advertising is relatively inexpensive and provides a level of attribution to spend.
“Let’s just say that you were searching for a 2019 Honda CR-V, you see the ad and you click it. That costs the dealer around $3.50 on average just to get you to click and hopefully go to the website or call. With video, on the other hand, you only pay if the customer watches the entire video. If the ad is skipped, or not watched to completion, you don’t pay for the ad. But if someone watches a 15-second relevant video ad because it is the exact 2019 Honda CR-V they viewed on the dealer’s website — and watches the whole thing — the dealers pay for it,” Boice explained. “Would you rather put a video in front of somebody who’s watching the local news with zero interest in buying a car or on YouTube in front of a specific consumer who is actively shopping for a Honda CR-V? It’s a bit of a no-brainer.”
But not all digital video ads are created equal. According to reports from Google, the auto industry average cost-per-view (CPV) is $0.12 with a 20% view rate. Advid more than doubles these results, averaging anywhere between a 35% to 45% view rate, with an average CPV of $0.03.
Driving Results for Dealership Success
Just one year since its inception, Advid is taking the industry by storm.
One dealer who’s already had success with Advid is industry pioneer Brian Benstock of Paragon Honda and Acura in Woodside, NY.
“Can you imagine the ability to advertise to a specific person, or a specific targeted audience, with an offer-based video message on the exact car they are shopping for? That’s what Advid does. Not only that, but you only pay if that person watches the entire ad and you can track who watched the video and then visited the showroom,” Benstock said. “We spend about 20% of our digital advertising budget on Advid and nearly 50% of our store visit traffic is attributed to Advid campaigns. The results are not only powerful, they are undeniable. Advid is the real deal.”
Benstock is just one of Advid’s hundreds of raving fans, due not only to the convenience Advid offers, but also the results it delivers.
“Implementing Advid into my digital strategy has been a game changer for my organization. Our call volume is up significantly, and we had our best month in over a year,” Jack “JJ” Jackintelle, COO of Coral Springs Auto Mall in Florida, proclaimed.
Even major OEMs are catching wind of the Advid’s capabilities. In fact, Advid recently announced its first major relationship with an OEM — Audi. Effective this month, Advid is now a co-op eligible pre-roll provider through Audi’s new Tier III Marketing Covenant Guidelines.
“By utilizing Advid’s technology in a recent pilot in the Chicago market, we saw a significant lift in conversions, search intent, and a 53% increase in phone calls. The pilot results were so impactful that we wanted to make Advid available to all our dealers,” Jeramie Westbay, manager of retail digital experience at Audi.
Advid’s proven track record of high performance is undeniable, generally doubling results for half the cost. In addition to driving a lift in phone calls, store visits and view rates, Advid videos generate about 125,000 impressions, more than 110 hours of free branding, and thousands of free impressions — all at no additional cost to the dealer. It’s safe to say that Advid is leading the charge for video innovation.
“It’s the fastest-growing company we’ve had out of all the companies we’ve started,” Boice said. “And I think it’s because dealers are looking to implement video advertising but don’t have the proper technology to execute it at scale. Thus, we created a robust platform that produces thousands of videos customized for the dealership and, most importantly, to the exact model the customer is interested in buying.”