A Success Story of Faith in a Challenging Market
The year was 1978. Tom Barton, the then-new president of Beach Ford, found himself in the middle of the oil embargo and the worst recession the U.S. auto industry had ever seen. He cut his ad budget by 80 percent, and asked Primm to design a marketing program that 1) would work, 2) he could afford, and 3) was sustainable.
A Different Approach
We knew we couldn’t go head-to-head against bigger dealers’ price advertising. Beach Ford needed a different media plan and a different creative plan. Primm developed a creative message with an enduring theme based on trust and American values, and focused on one medium: Television. Since the message wasn’t sales-event oriented, we could buy at better rates in less crowded times, and the commercials ran, unchanged, for a year and a half.
As business improved, the ad budget got bigger, but the basic philosophy of the campaign never changed. Over time, Beach Ford became the largest-selling single any make dealership in Virginia. Because we focused the ad dollars, Beach Ford attained this leadership position while spending a fraction of its direct competitors’ ad budgets.
Today, in a very different automotive market, Beach Ford still maintains its dominant position as the leading Ford dealer in Southeast Virginia. Another generation of Bartons is heading up the dealership, and The Primm Company is still finding innovative ways to promote the dealership and their products to a new generation of customers.