Best Advertising Strategy: Miller Auto Plaza

posted by Stephanie Theisen

Client Overview

Miller Auto Plaza is our first featured client for our 2017 Best Advertising Strategy blog series. Located in St. Cloud, Miller Auto Plaza employs nearly 200 individuals who all work together to provide customers with a 5-Star Experience at every interaction. 

Best Advertising Strategy: Miller Auto Plaza

Miller Auto Plaza has served the people of Central Minnesota for decades. From humble beginnings as a small auto repair shop in the 1930s, Miller Auto Plaza now encompasses the sale of new and used vehicles and water crafts, a state-of-the-art body shop, a reconditioning center, a marine service shop, a Buick-GMC sales building, and two additional service centers.

Goals for Strategy

For a business with such diverse service offerings, it can be difficult to consistently produce clear, focused ads. To complicate things further, just about anyone is a potential Miller Auto Plaza customer. In order to reach their diverse audience effectively, Miller Auto Plaza has been one of Leighton Broadcasting's advertising partners for decades. 

They utilize radio as a way to invite people to their indoor showroom so they can find the vehicle of their dreams. Their primary goal is top-of-mind awareness because when you find yourself in need of one of their services, you'll think of Miller. 

They stay top-of-mind by always telling their story from a "Why Miller" perspective. Miller Auto Plaza is one of the nicest dealerships in the region. They have a beautiful showroom, and radio helps them to do a beautiful job telling their story: 

Not Your Typical Car Dealership

Miller Auto & Marine, Showing a GMC Truck to a Potential Buyer

You won't hear big radio voiced, cliche filled screaming car dealer ads with Miller Auto Plaza. That's the norm for their industry, and Miller is anything but normal. Their voice guy is quirky and laid back, and the music bed is a catchy acoustic rhythm that quickly becomes your latest ear worm.

They focus their ads on dramatizing their difference, not on making the next vehicle sale.

Bricks and Mortar

When it comes to radio advertising, the automotive industry is one of the largest categories. In order to stand out from the competition, it's important for Miller Auto Plaza to focus on their differentiators. 

Miller Auto Plaza is an ideal example for following the brick and mortar approach. That could be because Chuck Mefford, is in charge of Miller Auto Plaza's radio creative - and he the individual who developed the brick and mortar approach. Beyond consistent voice, their ads use a consistent music bed and are always designed with "Nobody but Miller" in mind. 

For bricks, Miller Auto Plaza draws from their 5-Star Experience. They draw on each of the five stars within their radio ads, which gives their message consistency across channels: 

"Working directly with Chuck Mefford on our radio ads helps us to build our brand upon our 5-Star Experience. He does a great job helping write the ads and ensuring they sound different from anything else out there."

-Chance Haakonson, General Manager of Miller Auto Plaza

Why the Advertising Strategy Works

Year over year, Miller Auto Plaza's radio ads accomplish a great feat. They remain memorable and relevant without becoming stale or redundant. Their radio strategy works because it is intentional and consistent with their brand promise. That's why we selected them for our 2017 Best Advertising Strategy blog series.

Like I said above, just about anybody is a potential customer of Miller Auto Plaza. And while you might not need any of Miller's service offerings right now, when you do need them, you know they'll be there for you. 

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