Industry News & Trends

Kapoweeeee – you just sold a car!!

OK, I had to get this out there for everyone to watch…this is too funny!!

There is a whole series of different "Badger" commercials from Johnson Auto group in NC. The videos are absolutely hilarious. Too bad they didn’t have the smarts to get them on YouTube themselves. Even their websites make little mention of the "badger". What a shame not to take full advantage of some great marketing!

Founder of DealerRefresh - 20+ Years of dealership Sales, Management, Training, Marketing and Leadership.
I'm with you Jeff, this would make a brilliant viral campaign for the Johnson group. Funny, clever, and to-the-point messaging addresses negative "stereotypes" and gives the viewer a sense that the Johnson group "might be different". These spots, placed on or throughout the Johnson group websites, have the power to really catch the eye of a casual web surfer. Compelling video that brings value (in this case humor) has the ability to "keep" the customer on the site. A great group of spots that certainly "got my attention"!
  • C
  • November 30, 2007
You're right. The domain is pointing to a DealerSkins flash doorway page that doesn't feature any of the videos or help you find the others. If you click the badger picture it takes you to some black and white flyer ads that are pretty sucky compared to the videos. This is a terrible landing page, especially since the URL is in each video.
I live in Johnson Automotive's MSA (The Research Triangle of NC). These commercials are hilarious! And in this area, you cannot escape the badger advertising, no matter where you go or what you are doing. This morning I checked my Yahoo! email, there was a big display ad of the badger sitting on the hood of a car with the phrase "You came looking for a car," the windshield wiper changes the phrase to "you left with a headache." Then displays a link to Along I-40, I-440, and I-540, and throughout the area, billboards simply say "No Badgers" followed by "visit any Johnson Automotive dealership."

I read an article the other day about Johnson's agency, and the "Badger" campaign budget for this year. The agency that created this campaign is the same one who did the Geico gecko and the cavemen. The Martin Agency of Richmond, VA also created the "What can Brown do for you?" campaign, and works with Wal Mart, Alltel, and Hanes.

Ready for the best part? The production costs alone totaled nearly $3.5 million for the Badger spots. Add that to the nearly $14 million ad budget for Johnson's 10 wonder you can't escape the Badger ads!!!

I keep saying I am going to shop a couple of their stores, just to see if the experience is really any different. I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I will keep you posted!

Thanks Jeff!
  • M
  • November 30, 2007
Awesome. To think how many years of arm-twisting I've done to GM's and owners to get them to think outside the realm of standard ad agency drivel... I'll readily admit that I'm jealous this didn't come from one of my dealers.
  • J
  • December 21, 2007
I showed these to the owner of our dealership. He loved them, and they really got him thinking. Since Johnson has some of the same franchises as us, we pulled up their sales numbers. Let's just say this - he changed his mind.