GodwinGroup Wins Car Dealers

The GodwinGroup has added Crown Automotive and Gray-Daniels Automotive to its client roster.

The Jackson, Miss., shop drove off with the two car dealerships after reviews that included undisclosed agencies in Florida, Virginia, Alabama, Texas and Missouri.

The two accounts total more than $5 million in billings, according to sources.

“Our creative strategy won the Crown Automotive business,” said Godwin chief executive officer Philip Shirley. “The challenge was, ‘How do you sell multiple brands across multiple locations?’ “

Crown Automotive marketing director Kristi Griggs said she was looking for marketing support that would drive new business, but also “keep customers in the dealership family.”

Agency executive creative director Todd Ballard, copywriter Jeff Pedigo and art director Kenny Weaver came up with the winning marketing solution.

“Our positioning,” said Ballard, “is if you’re a car buyer, we will deliver whatever you want, not what the dealer happens to have in stock.”

That strategy will be supported by Godwin’s “Drive what you want” tagline in print, television and radio advertising. The new work is expected to break in the next few weeks.

The agency also acquired local rights to Cheap Trick’s hit single, “I Want You to Want Me,” to help accent the sales message.

The song will be cut and edited into various broadcast spots. According to Ballard, the music provides versatility and “another connection to the consumer.”

“Godwin’s creative was fresh,” Griggs said, “unlike the cannedcreative we typically see for car dealerships.”

Crown Automotive, which is headquartered in Greensboro, N.C., operates 14 dealerships that carry 18 car lines in North Carolina’s Greensboro, Chapel Hill and Fayetteville markets. The dealer also operates in Richmond and Charlottesville, Va.

Crown’s marketing had been handled in-house and farmed out on a limited project basis, according to Shirley.

Shirley noted that media planning projects undertaken for Gray-Daniels Automotive helped deliver that account. Jackson-based Gray operates 10 Mississippi dealerships selling 11 automobile brands.

Both Gray-Daniels and Crown are subsidiaries of the Asbury Automotive Group in Stamford, Conn.