"If they have to open their hood, they're gone," says Timothy Kerr, president of KERRmercials Inc. in Greenwich, Conn.
The producer of Prestone's "JumpIt!"and "InflateIt!"shows, Kerr
says opening the hood implies work -- something no car owner really wants to get involved with, even if it means simply pouring a bottle of additive into the engine.
To overcome that apprehension, Prestone
packages a coupon for free installation from the retailer with the additive.Consumers buy the product, then schlep down to their local gas station to have someone else do the dirty work.
They may not like popping hoods, but they do like being safe -- a realization that surprised Kerr
."Based on our last two shows," Kerr
contends, "this may be the only DRTV category in which safety sells."
But where Howard sees a decrease in hit shows, Kerr
Old-guard DR marketers, says Kerr
, are shying away from testing the automotive aftermarket category and new corporate clients are holding back on spending the dollars they had budgeted for alternative media.That, says Kerr
, results in fewer shows and fewer buys and leaves the window of opportunity open for the marketer with a good product and show.
"There's tremendous opportunity here because a hot automotive item will sell in any market," says Kerr
."The competition for consumer dollars is less, leaving some good opportunities out there for savvy marketers."
When it comes to upsells and cross-sells in the automotive category, Kerr
says adding a second item to the offer always works best.Once the money and time have been spent closing a sale, he
adds, offering a second unit at a discount tends to elicit the best response rate -- as long as the two are "tied" in the right way."You can offer a wheel cleaner with a car wash, but not a can opener," explains Kerr
."Like any other category, it's about the psychology of the sale."
Auto club upsells also work well with some products.For the Prestone
shows, a $70- to $80-value auto club membership was offered for $19.95.It was an easy sell, says Kerr
, but it didn't pull the same numbers as a second unit did, even though the latter was three times the price of the auto club.The problem, he says, is that upselling an item that's not part of the original product line means having to start from scratch with the sale.
"If a caller has already decided to buy the product, it's easy to buy two," says Kerr
The category as a whole, Kerr
says, is challenged by its own products, which, he
believes, have become archaic and uninspired."We've all been selling that same bottle of car wax for 20 years," he
says, adding that KERRmercials
is currently working on a few new spots, including one for wiper blades, an additive and a car wash product.
"That's actually a little less than what we normally do," he