COVID Message Fatigue

By now, many businesses have backed away from “COVID-focused” messaging. If your car dealership ads haven’t done so yet, please do it now (asking for a friend).

Research is showing that viewers and listeners alike are suffering from “COVID Message Fatigue.” After months of home captivity and being bombarded by hundreds of almost identical COVID-heavy messages on a daily basis, people are mentally tuning out when they hear, “during unprecedented (uncertain, challenging) times like these,” or “we’re here for you,” or “we’re here to help,” or “we’ll get through this together.” I even phased out briefly while typing it.

The good news is that you’ve already met and exceeded your minimum requirement for showing images of empty streets and people from all walks of life wearing masks while staring out the window. We already assume that any business that’s still in business is taking every precaution necessary to ensure our safety and well-being, so it’s no longer necessary to show us images of workers with spray bottles and disinfectant wipes. It’s also okay to go ahead and retire that somber “music” track you’ve run under your last 1000 ads. We’re not absorbing it anymore. It’s all past expiration date.

But don’t make the mistake of “throwing the baby out with the bath water.” You don’t have to scrap your ENTIRE message. This is especially important when it comes to automotive marketing. People are only tired of hearing about the pandemic and protocols, not all the good stuff you most likely promoted about your website. You know, the fact that shoppers can literally complete every step of the buying process online, with home delivery or dealership curbside pick-up. Remind them that your entire inventory is available online, along with payment options, finance options, credit pre-approval, virtual trade appraisals and test drives.

Even if many other businesses are constantly talking about their websites and features, it’s still vital to promote yours to the fullest, because convenience and peace of mind never go out of style. Make sure you double down on your website promotion and presence to keep it fresh in the public mind.

by Rick Blevins, Creative Director

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