In March 2022, the largest automotive convention in the United States will be held in Las Vegas, NV. With over 22,000 attendees, we couldn’t afford to skip out on marketing at this event. The problem: our budget. The NADA convention hosts a variety of attendees from OEMs to General Managers of top selling dealerships, to marketing agencies such as ourselves. Because of the convention’s intense popularity and size, advertising at the venue is incredible expensive and exclusive. Only members who are actively displaying on the floor show have access to advertising space within the convention center. However, being a member comes at its own hefty cost. After mulling over this problem, my team came to this conclusion: In order to advertise successfully outside of the convention, we would need to take up space on the LV strip. Yet, this conclusion came with more setbacks, attacking our budget yet again. We began to wonder, will our target audience of NADA attendees understand this struggle and can we use the outrageous expense of this convention to our advantage?
The first solution I saw was to create a campaign that would directly empathize with the convention attendees who had just spent an exuberant amount of money to display at this show. We came up with the tagline of “You’re Spending Too Much Money on Marketing”, a quick a witty statement that was sure to grab the attention of anyone on the LV strip. The messaging was meant to target and shame these attendees, somewhat reminiscent of a fear-mongering campaign only more playful and less sinister. Our goal was to highlight methods of advertising that Dynamic Omni Channels offered which would be considered a cheap alternative to other marketing efforts. Namely: social media ads and direct mail campaigns.
The old saying goes: You have to spend money to make money, and we were beginning to see just why that is. As expensive as it would be to advertise within the convention center, we were still having to comb through our budget to find an OOH ad space that wouldn’t break the bank. We sat in on several calls with different advertising suppliers in the area and talked through a few of our major concerns as far as coverage and pricing. That’s when the idea hit us: why not make our own spending a focal point of the campaign with an added layer of brutal transparency. Our massive billboard in Las Vegas would poke fun at, not only the attendees but also ourselves, boasting that we wasted “8,500” to deliver our marketing message to the recipients. All the while NADA attendees would be bombarded with our social media ad campaign, highlighting the vast difference in cost from one marketing strategy to another.
In the end, this concept was scrapped entirely from our Q1 Marketing Program but it still holds a special place in our hearts as a fearless, gutsy campaign that showed off our personality.