How-to-survive-your-prison-term training. Bedbug removal. Any five-year medical exam you have to get once you hit 50. All are services you never want to have to use. Wait. One more: dealership service and maintenance. Okay, it's a little unfair to lump the first three in with the fourth. Nobody likes to repair their car.
But while dealership service and maintenance is the Rodney Dangerfield of the auto business, it can also be the secret sauce: if it's a good experience, it builds consumer loyalty, not only to the dealership, but to the brand.
GMC -- aware that customers are just a little skittish about rolling up to the bay, and may have some trust issues with the whole mechanic thing -- is taking a humorous approach to promote its GMC Certified Service. A new campaign comprising digital and TV touts GMC Professional Grade Care, with an “Only for GMC” message, but in an unusual way. The effort, via AOR Leo Burnett, eschews the spotless actor from central casting working on vehicles without mussing his hair. Instead, it features real GMC certified techs, and instead of showing them working on GMC vehicles, they are pranked with an actual hovercraft, ice cat and the world’s only working jet pack.
The idea is that GMC Certified Service technicians are so knowledgeable and professional that people will visit them for just about anything.
“People think about buying a new car, not servicing their car. So, we are trying to break through in a low-interest category,” says Chris Brandt, national advertising manager at GM customer care and after sales. He tells Marketing Daily that the goal is to keep GMC customers coming in to dealerships, rather than going to independent garages. The says the other benefit is to customers: GMC techs are trained specifically (obviously) on GMC vehicles. “It's a competitive industry today. All the independents out there compete with us. especially with peoples’ propensity to shop and compare online. We want to be in front of that.” He adds the campaign is a first for GM's premium truck brand.
The video content was shot in one day at a GMC dealership in Buena Park, Calif., per Brandt. “We had about eight hidden cameras, set up the day before.” The GMC service advisors thought they were there for training, part of which involves going out to the bay and doing service. Suddenly, the weird mobility devices show up.
Brandt says a 30-second spot that will run early morning TV starting Sept. 21. “We have targeted TV with Dish and DirectTV that we are showing to GMC owners. We have some other branded online video linked up through mail, customer retention programs, and also on GMC's Facebook page, and twitter, as an extension of the campaign.”