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E-Marketing Performance Blog

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

Friday I posted a snapshot of a billboard advertising an auto mall here in Reno (Fallon, actually). I wanted to solicit some comments to see if anybody else saw the same problem with this billboard as I did.

Fallon Auto Mall Billboard

Pretty much every comment noted that the guy with the cigarette was a problem, but only Chris of Westward Strategy explained why.

…they associated the sleazy car dealer with Fallon Auto Mall and not Kietzke or “Big City Motors” as their TV ads say. If I wasn’t a local and hadn’t seen their TV spots I would think that all the guys at Fallon Auto Mall look like him.

He’s dead right.

I haven’t seen the TV spots (TiVo, baby!) so I have only the billboard to go by. I’m sure there are others that also might have missed the commercials too. That being the case, the billboard needs to stand alone as a marketing piece.

The problem then is what information motorists will typically process as they drive by:

Fallon Auto Mall Billboard

But by placing the sleazy looking car salesman in close proximity to the Fallon Auto Mall logo they’ve created a guilt by association. Not for the Kietzke Lane car dealerships they wish to malign, but for themselves.

How could this billboard been done better? Here’s our take:

Fallon Auto Mall Billboard

Notice that the only new element here is the words “visit the”. The rest is just a rearrangement of the existing elements to get rid of the negative association with the Fallon image.

What do you think? Any better?

Want to take a whack at it? Post a link to it in the comments below.

Stoney G deGeyter

Stoney deGeyter is the author of The Best Damn Web Marketing Checklist, Period!. He is the founder and CEO of Pole Position Marketing, a web presence optimization firm whose pit crew has been velocitizing websites since 1998. In his free time Stoney gets involved in community services and ministries with his “bride enjoy” and his children. Read Stoney’s full bio.

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