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Clunkers promo

Can Gannett cash in on Clunkers program?

Gannettoid.com | news@gannettoid.com | Posted: Aug. 7, 2009 • Morning report

When the U.S. Senate approved an additional $2 billion Thursday for the "cash for clunkers" program, dealerships and potential new-car buyers weren't the only ones ready to capitalize.

So too were properties throughout Gannett.

In a memo sent Wednesday evening to publishers, marketing directors and advertising directors, Leslie Giallombardo said if the additional funding was approved Thursday, it "could provide an immediate revenue boost while helping our local dealers to sell cars."

Through ContentOne, the memo included descriptions of the key content:

CLUNKER-MAIN: Cash for clunkers guidelines.
The rules and scenarios the consumer will need to know to take advantage of the legislation, as well as where they can go to get any other information they will need to make the deal work. (Source; Cars.com)

Understanding cash-for-clunkers voucher plan. Before driving up to the dealer’s lot, here are a few things to know.
Reviews on some of the cars listed on the eligible list. Included are reviews of 14 popular fuel-efficient models, from manufacturers including Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mazda, Hyundai, Chevrolet, Ford and Volkswagen. From Cars.com, Detroit, USA TODAY.
Tips for the consumers. The trade-in value of your car should be less than the $3,500 or $4,500 rebate available through the program. Otherwise, sell your old vehicle or negotiate a traditional trade-in deal. Arizona Republic.

Since the memo was sent in anticipation of the funding being approved, it warned departments to be ready to move quickly at the appropriate time. It also suggested how to sell the content and said Des Moines (The Des Moines Register) "sold a $30k section WITH locally produced content last week."

The recommendations for use to show content and make ad sales were:

Produce a special Cash for Clunkers standard section in your newspaper.
Sell ½ and full page units (or full pages only) to the participating dealers
Offer pick-ups to run additional days outside of the section
Target the dealers that have the best selection of eligible car makes. There is a lot of competition among dealers for this business. They are competing against same brand manufacturers (i.e. there are two Chevrolet dealers in the market) and they are competing across brand. Should I buy a Volkswagen or a Toyota or a Chevrolet? There are 167 new vehicles that qualify under the law.
Publish an expanded version of your weekly auto section (cars.com section)

Consider a special rate for the length of the program (“while it lasts”)

Bundle all print ads with an online component

Create special multi-dealer banner pages that feature photo display ads of the eligible vehicles and run on non-mega auto days

Create a special Cash for Clunkers single column logo that can be upsold with applicable liner ads (not only will this generate additional revenue but it will give your classified pages the look of a real “Cash for clunkers” marketplace

The memo also included instruction to set up a URL for the newspapers' Web page with the information and said, "More than 38 Gannett properties have already launched the site and are getting good traffic. Five broadcast sites are also participating."

The memo included attachments for the promo image (shown at the top of this story), a list of each paper's URL to reach its portal and instructions on ways to link to the coverage page.


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