Just a year ago, most new car shoppers visited their local dealerships to check out the new models or inventory and explored the entire vehicle inside and outside, played with all the features and, of course, took the dream car on a test drive. Covid changed everything, including the car shopping experience.
Yet, even while potential shoppers were locked down at home and unable to visit nonessential businesses, dealerships and manufacturers used technology to transform the suddenly digital shopping experience. From augmented reality to YouTube, here’s how the automotive industry is using video marketing to reach customers and enhance the car hunting journey!
Augmented Reality Video Experiences
Augmented reality is its own separate technology but it’s often combined with video experiences or features for a full immersive experience. In 2020, manufacturers took advantage of what augmented reality had to offer and used it to market new models to consumers…and maybe to anyone who just wanted to have a little fun.
We’ve mentioned Lamborghini’s augmented reality launch of the Huracán EVO RWD Spyder often in our blog. We can’t help it! The augmented reality experience was immersive and offered even those who couldn’t afford this luxury vehicle a chance to enjoy Lamborghini right in their home.
Lamborghini’s augmented reality experience included different features to explore. Users could watch an intro video about the Huracán or they could enter a virtual showroom and explore the mechanics of the new model. The augmented reality portion allowed users to drop the new vehicle into their environment. The new Huracán could be placed on a bed, in the middle of a room, in a driveway or anywhere! Once the vehicle was placed into the environment, the user could walk around the car and explore.
Bentley Palm Beach
Bentley Palm Beach welcomes its web site visitors with a video that gives a sneak peak at the offerings in the dealership as well as a brief tour of the inside of the dealership. The video acts as a virtual greeting for those who might not be able to visit the dealership in person or shoppers who may be browsing.
Ready to enjoy a full video marketing experience? For its LYRIQ show car, Cadillac offers up a 12-minute video for interested consumers to be introduced to its new electric SUV. Those interested in learning more can view the Lookbook, too.
Dodge took some fun into its intro video, which serves as the welcome on the manufacturer’s web site. Titled “Family Motto,” the video shows a grade-school Ricky Bobby racing on the road. His dad’s instructions: “I said burnouts and donuts only!” The video is set in 1981 and features music by AC/DC.
Ferrari’s website is a continuous video that includes a racing montage as well as a preview for Ferrari attire available in the Ferrari online store. The manufacturer doesn’t just make site visitors want a Ferrari…but also a Ferrari puffer jacket, or, rather, a Softshell Jacket with Thermo Tech. It’s available in two colors: black and red! You might not be able to afford the car, but you can snag cool Ferrari gear!
Want to preview the new 2022 Honda Civic Sedan? Honda debuted the new model via a video on its Facebook page. The video and other details about the sedan also were available on the company’s web site.
Why have one video of a vehicle, when you can have all the videos? Jeep’s web site is the ultimate source for those loyal to the brand…or anyone who wants to invest in the Jeep style. See all the different models on the road and get a preview for everything Jeep has to offer.
Run time: a little more than six minutes. But in those six minutes, Kia presents its clever marketing device complete with a compelling plotline. The getaway car is, of course, a Kia! And once the hero drives off, the video gives us all the insight about the new model. As the film progresses, details of the car’s features are captioned on the screen. Even when he’s stuffed in the trunk…it’s a plot point to emphasize the roominess of the trunk! But viewers don’t just see one Kia…they see all the Kias! Well, many of the Kias! And when someone is detained, because they had to stop for gas? Cue the close up of the back of an electric vehicle…proudly displaying that it isn’t reliant on the pump! So how many Kias star in this ingenious marketing device? Eight!
With this mini-film, Kia as a brand shows how video can be used creatively to engage potential buyers and keep them watching. Engagement is key. And the video has definitely made its impact; since it debuted in July, Kia’s foray into film has been viewed more than 76,000 times.
Like many manufacturers, Mercedes uses video marketing on Facebook to share updates. In early January, Mercedes used video to engage Facebook visitors with its MBUX Hyperscreen. The Hyperscreen was a major unveiling, and the video was featured on the Mercedes-Benz website to tease the new feature. CNET has hailed the MBUX Hyperscreen as “The future of infotainment systems.” The screen is massive, measuring in at 56 inches (it is the entire dashboard).
Mitsubishi to the Rescue
Video marketing doesn’t have to be directly related to sales. Offering any type of service that appeals to the customer base also may help drive potential sales. Mitsubishi offers videos to current owners to help them with anything related to Mitsubishi Connect. Can’t set the clock back during Daylight Savings Time? Pull up the video. Videos can provide value-added services that keep current customers loyal…and driving back to the Mitsubishi dealership.
Nissan: The YouTube Channel
Social media platforms are an important way for manufacturers and dealers to connect to customers…and potential new car shoppers. Many companies engage across multiple social media platforms, including YouTube. Nissan offers its own YouTube channel that’s full of videos profiling many of their popular models. The company’s commercials are included, too. Looking for that commercial that features a certain ‘chill mode’ song? Find it here.
Rolls Royce goes beyond basic video with “Muse Presents A Year in Moving Image.” The presentation is art…a virtual exhibit and commentary. It engages, yet it also inspires. Rolls Royce provides a sanctuary of art within its own virtual space. And, in doing so, offers an experience that supersedes marketing and sales tactics.
Tesla uses videos to educate and inform…of its innovations. And there are many innovations! Learn about “the world’s first big battery” or how Tesla’s powerpacks lowered emissions and provided cost savings in Fiji. Tesla has definitely left its mark on sustainability…and not in carbon!
The younger generation loves TikTok. To reach Generation Z, dealerships may have been eyeing the social media site. In May of 2019, Premier Chevrolet Buick GMC made TikTok history…it was the first car dealership to take anchor on TikTok. And the dealership promoted its new social media activity on Facebook, prompting Facebook followers to hit them up on TikTok “…for more fun and exclusive deals!” TikTok, of course, is a video platform, and the site may be the platform that more dealerships decide to utilize when reaching out to Z.
Virtual reality may be a part of marketing videos. In fact, virtual showrooms can be displayed as videos to enhance the car browsing experience online. However, instead of simply pressing play and watching the video, visitors to sites like RelayCars can interact with the experience. They can select their favorite vehicle, change paint hues, switch out features, and rotate the car for a better view. They can even open the doors and look inside. While these online experiences have a video quality, they are interactive and immersive. Through virtual reality, customers can better understand the features of each car and help make a decision when they might not be able to visit a dealership.
Local dealerships may turn to YouTube to showcase new inventory or a new model. Some dealerships use marketing videos to provide virtual test drives for customers browsing online. Others may upload their commercials. YouTube is filled with different marketing tools and videos that highlight both local dealerships and manufacturers. Looking for a song featured on a car commercial? It’s on YouTube somewhere!
Did Everyone Pivot to Video?
While video offerings online have helped engage visitors, dealerships and manufacturers may begin to get more creative with these offerings. We already know that augmented reality and virtual reality are utilized for marketing purposes and to enhance engagement and user experience. Lamborghini’s immersive AR experience could point to a marketing trend of the future. Or augmented reality could pave the way for more immersive and hyper-realistic virtual reality experiences.
YouTube will likely be a source of video content for years to come. And local dealerships may find that YouTube is an easy platform for engaging online audiences. Companies may also look at Kia’s feature film endeavor as creative inspiration for their own marketing videos.
Will everyone pivot to video? Technology will continue to inspire and influence marketing. But video isn’t so basic anymore. Utilizing augmented and virtual reality enhances the video experience, making it immersive and engaging. Keeping the visitor at the site and engaged with content is perhaps just one way to help the consumer remember the product, the name, and the car…and prompt the casual shopper to become the buyer.