digital, agencies, life, and other stuff

Desperate times call for drastic measures – how about ‘Buy one, Get one free!’ – for cars?

Posted by Lee on November 16, 2008


OK, we’ve seen ‘two for one’ price offers in the retail sector before, and it’s pretty much a standard promotional tactic in the FMCG sectors, but using this approach to sell cars, and new ones at that – well, that’s pretty extreme.

Just another example of how the credit crunch has taken hold all over the world, this ‘buy one new car, get one free’ offer was run in the UK where last month, new car sales were down 23%, the biggest fall in 17 years.

However, what really caught my eye about this, wasn’t that it was yet another doom & gloom, credit-crunch story, it was how it was also a remarkable demonstration of how consumers react to offers differently, and real proof of the need to ‘test’ offers to the market (something that DM agencies always try to get their clients to do).

What’s better – a brand new car at half the normal retail price, or ‘two brand new cars for the price of one’? It’s the same thing, right?

Well, from a customer perception point of view, no.

A month earlier the Colchester based auto-dealer, www.broadspeed.com had a ‘half price’ offer on the new Dodge Avengers, and sales were mediocre. However, as soon as they changed the offer to ‘Buy one, get one free’, sales went crazy – they got 22,000 customers and crashed their website!

Apparently, Broadspeed are already negotiating with two more auto manufacturers to do similar deals in the near future.

The moral of the story: when developing promotional offers, test, test, and test again.


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