Have you seen or heard any car ads recently? They’re usually pretty bad. A lot of screaming and yelling, loud heavy metal music, cars driving past, low prices flashing on the screen. And they all seem the same. In fact, they’re so bad that most dealerships have stopped advertising all together (other than online vehicle listing services).

On the other hand, it’s still entirely possible to drive a huge amount of traffic to your dealership through traditional advertising (think radio or TV), but the promotional messages must be different than the typical.

One approach that has proven to be very effective is to get into a rhythm of releasing a new campaign monthly. The ideal campaigns have these elements: they tie into the current water cooler conversation—what people are already thinking about; they tell a story; they are multi-media and multi-modal, meaning they don’t just exist in your ads, but they also are prevalent in your social media and at the dealership itself; they contain a soundbite—a phrase that will stick in people’s mind (this isn’t a slogan); they get people interested and excited in coming to your dealership because the campaign seems fun and doesn’t seem like they ordinary car ads they’ve learned to ignore.

You’ll know you’ve perfected this when customers start asking you about what your advertising is going to be next month (because they’re paying attention, and they care), and when you hear people repeating phrases from your advertising.