With more than 30 years of TV and advertising experience, I’m distressed by what I see on TV these days. There are too many commercials, and the quality of production on some of the cable channels is going downhill. However, despite my criticisms of the TV industry, it’s still the most powerful medium you can use for promoting your garage door business.
I was originally attracted to promoting garage doors by a call I received from a door dealer in upstate New York. He wanted me to handle his TV advertising. I asked, “What is different about the garage doors as compared to other home-improvement businesses?”
The dealer sat there for a minute and then said, “People drive through them.”
I said, “They drive through what?”
His response: “They drive through their garage doors.”
I laughed and said, “Really?” I had never seen that happen.
The dealer continued to describe an emergency call from a lady who said her husband came home drunk, drove through their garage door, continued through the back of the garage, and went through their backyard into the back of a neighbor’s garage. When the garage door dealer arrived, the man’s wife had him by the throat and was ready to dispatch him into the great beyond.
Having heard this story, I proceeded to create a TV campaign about people knocking down garage doors. I had vans knock down doors. Cars, motorcycles, and even kids knocked them down. Sometimes, I just had a door fall down on its own. The key to successful advertising is to first get the customer’s attention, then sell your product or service. Knocking down garage doors does exactly that. Using TV and video to sell garage doors and services can be very effective. Here are eight tips to help you improve your TV advertising results.
1. Be safe. Knocking down a garage door requires planning to avoid injury. Before we have a car or truck drive through a garage door, safety is our first goal. The garage door needs to be properly prepared by an expert so no one is injured.
2. Think big. You’ll need a campaign, not just a few ads. Today’s viewers are inundated with videos and TV trying to capture their attention. Make sure you have lots of variety in your advertising. Once someone has seen your ad a few times, he will start tuning it out. It pays to have several ads rotated on TV.
3. Have your video professionally produced. The quality of your production reflects the image of your business. The better your ads look, the more effective your campaign will be.
4. Take a long-term approach. Don’t expect advertising to work overnight—including TV. Ask yourself where you want your business to be in three to five years. Have your TV and other advertising created to accomplish a realistic long-term goal.
5. Watch your visual appeal. Turn the audio off and watch the video portion of your ads. With the audio turned off, you should still be able to determine what the product you’re selling is and where to get it.
Special note: I see too many ads on TV where the selling message is lost in the creative, and many of these ads are expensive productions. Don’t let the creativity of your TV lead you astray. You’re making a major investment, so the message must be clear and effective.
6. Have a theme. All of your advertising should tie together with one cohesive theme and look. It pays to have the same advertising source design your print and broadcast advertising. This will provide a better return for your investment.
7. Buy enough media to do the job. I suggest having a professional resource buy your TV time. Do not do it yourself. A professional should analyze whether the reach and frequency of your media buy is enough to produce results. Local TV stations prefer to sell directly to you, and they’ll claim to save you money. However, you’ll reach more people, more cost-effectively, by having an outside professional buy your TV time.
8. Limit sales. Price and item advertising on TV could have a negative effect on the image of your garage door business. It’s OK to have one or two sale events during the year, but selling garage doors with a price point on TV could have a significant long-term negative effect on the image of your business.