ARTICLE: 8 Video Strategies Dealers Can Do Now

(Originally published at:

Dealers, Google Says ‘Think Video’ but how do you start?

In September published an article on 3 ways YouTube is steering the car buyer’s path to purchase, you can read it here.

It’s a great primer for how valuable video has become to the purchase decision of a customer. Here at Vicimus, we see it both with our clients at their stores as well as within our own sales team as they create more and more videos. We even offer a free video recording and edit to clients in exchange for their video testimonials. We know the value and so should you.

As the article points out, dealers in the last year have spent less money and sold more cars by embracing video. Simply talking to their YouTube audience and spending a bit on paid media, they saw some very impressive in-store traffic increases and internet leads. Google reports the same trend overall with online video, showing over 75% of auto shoppers being influenced by video1.

The three ways they cover Video working for the dealers who use it are 2:

  1. Drive discovery and awareness of vehicles. Increasingly shoppers are relying on video to help them narrow down and learn about different vehicle models and makes while at the top of the purchase funnel.
  2. Allow shoppers to compare and contrast their options. Part of the research process has always been the ability to compare features, options, and price ranges. Online video offers not only details about the vehicle, but offers things you can’t get from reading and pictures: motion, sound, sight.
  3. Get shoppers to the lot. Video also encourages shoppers to visit a dealership or their website for vehicle consideration.

A few years ago, you could get away with only doing selfies and photos of new cars on your website and social feed. As our other article this month talked about, there is a need for self-branding by the customer facing staff at a dealership and there is no stronger medium than video. But what can you do with it to make the most of it? Here are some video strategies that have started to help stores and staff:

  1. Test Drive every new vehicle. Yes, the OEM will have videos of the latest model driving on winding roads to show it off, but they do not always help a consumer truly get the feel for a car. Search any model on YouTube and you’ll find a wealth of professional vehicle reviewers making test drive vehicles. If you make your own each time and let your customers hear YOUR thoughts on the new model then you will show up in those searches too.
  2. Walk-arounds are one of the easiest videos dealers can make. As a new model comes onto the lot, create a brief presentation for each vehicle.
  3. Monthly incentive videos that cover the latest offers are also a great way to do a quick 15-30 second video. These work well as paid media before videos that show off the same vehicle brand. It will help to plant the seed with the shopper that your store is where they can look next if they want to purchase.
  4. Running a contest socially is a normal dealer activity these days, but recording a quick video about it, even if it’s on your phone, helps bring excitement and details a static post just can’t deliver.
  5. It’s not always about sales. F&I, Service, dealership tours, company events and sales events in general all benefit from video. A lot of money is left on the table each month from your current customers who may not even think about service with you unless you tell them the latest offers or build trust with a tour of your service bay.
  6. Ask for loyalty. If you are using YouTube you will need to remind your viewers to subscribe to your channel and click on the notification alert icon each time to grow your audience. If you have some basic video skill you can prerecord that clip and attach it to each video. If not, then just remind yourself to ask the viewer before or after the video. Try to do this on longer content videos only.
  7. Spread them out. Videos live well on YouTube, but you can repurpose them into digital ad campaigns to target shoppers farther down the funnel with a small spend. You can use them in Bumper Campaigns to target key prospects and current customers to give them more valuable content. Share them on your other social channels like Facebook and Twitter and Instagram and turn them into sponsored posts to make sure they are seen. Load YouTube videos onto your website to leverage traffic. Embed them in Facebook messenger conversations with your customers.
  8. Keep it simple. Shoppers don’t want a polished commercial when they are researching. They want facts, truth and excitement. All you need is a basic SLR Camera or your own smart phone and a tripod or selfie stick and to start. Once you start and get into the habit you’ll find regular video can be your most effective weapon in a world that is growing in video consumption.

Whether you are doing a test drive, walk-around, offer, contest, service promotion or a lot walk, letting your customers see you and hear you is just as important as the metal you are showing off. And relevant video has a proven ability to grow your business. Your personality and your ability to communicate sells more cars and ROs. When you or your staff are in your videos you create an instant connection with the viewer. They know you now. So, when they see you again in photo posts or when they walk in the store there is a sense of trust and connection.

In a people pleasing business there is no stronger connection to make to improve your success.



  • Google/Ipsos, U.S., “How People Shop with YouTube” study, 18–64 year olds who go online at least once per month and have purchased a car in the last year (n=400), July 2018.
  •, “3 ways YouTube is steering the car buyer’s path to purchase” article by Adam Stewart, September 2018

(Originally published at:

ARTICLE: Make An Attempt To Care Less

Originally Posted on LinkedIN.

I’ve written multiple articles and had long discussions on having empathy for your client and your customer. It’s your understanding and ability to live in their shoes, fear their fears, feel their joys and try to get an idea of what they truly want that is the invaluable secret sauce you need to make ok work become better. In the long run if you fake it or are unable to feel it, your lack of empathy that will drive you – or your client – out the door. Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Finding A Lighthouse In The Storm

Originally Posted On LinkedIN

Be A Creative Storm Chaser

Warning: there are a lot of metaphors in this one…

Working in any form of creative craft – where your job relies on you working with ideas brought from the ether and crafted into existence can be both exciting and exhausting.  Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Creative Career Advice


Creative Career Advice: Working in a creative department is a shared experience – you are part of a team. Like it or not.

Working in a creative department is a shared experience – and as employee or employer.

Entering in to a creative department as you begin your career can often feel like an out of body experience. There is nothing quite like it. A mix of new things to learn, misunderstand, fear and get excited about. Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Lack of empathy is holding you back.

Originally published on LinkedIN.

I have felt for much of the past decade that the difference between your career advancing is empathy. Or rather – a lack of it.

I am a firm believer that a lack of Empathy will ultimately inflict upon us a bitter resentment for the same people we were meant to help if we let it. And it gets in the way of our advancement in our own career paths. Now let’s be honest. This did not come by choice. I have to work at it daily to remind myself to be nice. It comes with a certain added level of stress and anxiety I battle regularly. Over the past 18 years working, I know I’m not alone in this. Continue Reading →

UFAA: User Flow Addicts Anonymous

My Name is Todd and it’s been 1 hour since my last flow.
Are you part of UFAA? (“User Flow Addicts Anonymous.”)

I base everything on flow.

I mean everything. I think in flow charts, concept out in flow charts, document ideas in flow charts, make lists in flow charts. I even take notes in flow charts. I have been a part of UFAA since I can remember. I am simply addicted to the order of how things flow. And I do it more and more as my mind tries to manage all the information it takes in each day in a world that often overpowers my senses. And from what I’ve seen and heard – many of you are members of UFAA (User Flow Addicts Anonymous) as well – even if you don’t know or can’t admit it yet. Continue Reading →

Article: Art Direction Lipstick

Advice I gave today: “Sometimes the idea can be simple and the art direction direct. Too often good art directors bury good ideas with lipstick.”

Lipstick on a pig.

A saying that has been tracked back in written form as early as 1940’s when in a book by English Author Stella Gibbons Westwood. Though the idea has been around much longer. In fact, there is a whole wikipedia page dedicated to the phrase for those of you with internet curiosities into useless information (like myself).
Continue Reading →

Vicimus Rebrand

Agency: Vicimus
My Project Role: Creative Direction

VP, Creative Strategy : Todd Lawson
Design/Branding: Richard Dao
UX/UI Site Design: Rosie Sobczuk
Development: Jeff Grison
Concept: Barry Hillier, Todd Lawson, Richard Dao

In Late 2016 with the planned acquisition of Dashboard by tech company Vicimus we began a branding project. At its heart Vicimus had no brand. A tech start up with clients in automotive they really only had a logo and a basic site and a concept behind the name “Veni Vidi Veci” translating into “”I came; I saw; I conquered” Continue Reading →

Agency: Powered By Dashboard/Vicimus
My Project Role: Creative Direction, UX/UI Direction, Design

Chief Creative Officer : Todd Lawson
UX/Design: Isabelle Santiago, Todd Lawson
Development: Jeff Grison, Craig Hooghiem
Concept: Barry Hillier, Todd Lawson

Complete 2017 rebuild of The Canadian International AutoShow Online Portal into a robust and informative site for content, show schedule, features, exhibitor information, media releases and more. Built to both deliver entertainment and funnel consumers to purchase tickets online.

Continue Reading →

Revups Asset Builder Image Creation for Automotive Retailers

Agency: Powered By Dashboard
My Project Role: Creative Direction, UX Direction

Chief Creative Officer : Todd Lawson
UX/Design: Elicia Durtnall, Isabelle Santiago
Development: Kevin Langlois
Concept: Barry Hillier, Todd Lawson

RevUps Asset Builder is a simplified image creation tool built on a vast collection of predesigned sets of promotional images for automotive retailers.

Continue Reading →

Strategy Mob Magazine & Community

Agency: Powered By Dashboard
My Project Role: Creative Direction, contributor

Chief Creative Officer / Contributor : Todd Lawson
Senior Editor: Robin Stevenson
Magazine Design: Rosie Sobczuk, Jasmine Lin
Website Design: Isabelle Santiago
Website Development: Cody Collicott
Advertising Director: Barry Hillier
Social And Events Director: Brent Wees
Printer: Manduck Media

Continue Reading →

Strategy Mob Magazine Cover Illustration

Strategy Mob Magazine Cover Illustration 
Acrylic on mounted wood panel

Continue Reading →

The Dawn of the Full Stack Employee

There once was an employee to said “It wasn’t their job.” So someone took their place.

In the digital marketing space you often have a team of specialists when it comes to the tech team. You were a flash developer (until a few years ago), a front-end coder, an HTML master, a WordPress’r or a back-end database guru. Continue Reading →

Article: Strategy Mob Magazine – Dealer & Designer

Originally written and published in Strategy Mob Magazine, October 2015 – Issue 01 and also featured on their website.

Your focus is on moving metal. A good relationship with your creative team will help you sell more.

You have a great dealership. Good deals, too. But something is stopping people from coming through your doors.  I’m not talking about a dirty showroom or a bad customer experience; I’m talking about bad marketing creative. Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Strategy Magazine – Next Big Thing Contribution

Originally written and published in Strategy Magazine, September 2015  “Next Big Things” issue and also featured on their website.

Automated creativity is changing a digital creative’s role. Universally accessible big data, app development and faster cross-platform server-side coding platforms have allowed us to work with more automated processes in real-time. Early systems are already letting retail clients create online campaigns from customizable experiences and automated media builders, as well as use dynamic built-in testing of various versions offered by many SaaS cos.

Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Battle of the Auto Brand Vs. the Offer

Automotive Dealerships…It’s not all about your best offers. It’s not all about clean design. Its about selling customer experience and your offers together.

Oh Dealers. I get it.

Your customer has a non-existent attention span (less than a gold fish I hear) and your competition is no longer the guy in your backyard or down the street – but the dealer three towns over. Blame the Internet…everyone else does. Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Beautiful Mistakes

You want to launch with imperfections

Are we trained to fear failure?
As we grow up we are often taught failure is bad. We learn how to lie. We learn how to hide. We learn ways to avoid shame. We covet encouragement from those who raise and educate us. And we work hard to find ways to receive more praise. Positivity after all can be a great motivator for personal and social change. Is it no wonder that as we begin to work for others in our professional lives that we already have a build in negative response to failure? Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Become a force to be reckoned with.

Idiom. Force to be reckoned with
Fig. someone or something that is important and powerful and must not be ignored.

There is much that can be said for how you gain a reputation in your industry. Whether it’s in a niche area like automotive retail or in a mass area like general advertising or even in professional sport for that matter. Reputation follows you. Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: UI Design: Eat it grid

But Google said so?!?!??
With the recent announcement from Google that sites with inaccessible mobile content will soon find themselves being effectively delisted in search – old mistakes are coming back to haunt us in the digital design. Continue Reading →

ARTICLE: Abstraphic – Theory in Abstract Design

Part 1: The Source

Discussing the concept of abstract thinking for design and how unseen forces can affect the resulting work. Part one in a series.


Where does a good idea come from? I’ve sat in countless brainstorms on so many subjects I will often forget if I’ve thought about an idea in a previous session until half way through the process. Ideas can be a very fickle beast.  Continue Reading →

Shreddies Morning Break TV Spot

Agency: Grey Canada
My Project Role: Lead Art Direction

Executive Creative Director: Patrick Scissons
Creative Director: James Ansley
Copy Writer: Sue Kohm
ACD / Art Director: Todd Lawson
Director: Richard Farmer
Producer: Karen Blazer
Production Co.: Imported Artists
Editing: Saints/Alter Ego
Audio: Apollo
Continue Reading →

Grape-Nuts The Odds

Agency: Grey Canada
My Project Role: Lead Art Direction, Concept

Executive Creative Director: Patrick Scissons
CD / Copy Writer: James Ansley
ACD / Art Director: Todd Lawson
Director: Jonathan Bensimon
Producer: Sam Benson
Production Co.: Spy Films
Editing: Rooster/Crush
Audio: Eggplant
Continue Reading →

Grape-Nuts What’s Your Mountain?

Agency: Grey Canada
My Project Role: Lead Art Direction, Concept

Executive Creative Director: Patrick Scissons
CD / Copy Writer: James Ansley
ACD / Art Director: Todd Lawson
Director:Yael Staav
Sam Benson
Editing: Posterboy/Crush
Audio: Eggplant
Continue Reading →

Abreva National TV Spot

Agency: Grey Canada
My Project Role: Lead Art Direction, Concept

Creative Director: Patrick Scissons
Art Director: Todd Lawson
Copy Writers: Lindsay Smith, Chris Tropac, Patrick Scissons
Directors:Jamie Travis (Untitled Films )
Sam Benson
Editing: Rooster
Audio: Eggplant
Continue Reading →

Cannes Cyber Bronze Lion awarded to Most Valuable digital campaign for the Missing Children Society of Canada adding to tally with Three Applied Arts Interactive Awards for the 2012 Fall Annual VIEW WORK

The Guinness Window Pints take home Bronze 2012 Marketing Award for Out Of Home Non-Standard Format Single! View Work

Guinness National TV Spot

Agency: Grey Canada
My Project Role: Lead Art Direction, Copy Writing, Concept

Creative Director: Glen Hunt
Art Director: Todd Lawson
Copy Writer: Todd Lawson, Glen Hunt
Directors:Nico & Martin ( Primo/Holiday Films )
Dee Anderson/Derek Sewell/Vicky Piantini
Panic & Bob
SFX: Crush Inc.
Original Score: Grayson Matthews

Guinness Light Up Billboard

Creative Director: Glen Hunt
Art Director:Todd Lawson
Copy Writer: Glen Hunt
During the evening commute home this billboard would light up with a glowing, dimensional pint on the Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

Guinness Ambient Window Pints

Creative Director: Patrick Scissons
Art Director:Todd Lawson
Leading up to the St. Patrick’s day weekend we created ambient window Guinness Pints in downtown Toronto’s business district. Continue Reading →



After reading a rather ignorant and defensive twitter post by someone I did not know about artists transitioning into other fields being sub par to those who are trained and remained in their field I began to have a thought(after the “I’ll remember never to hire you” thought of course)…after all, I’m an artist and illustrator who became a designer and 3D animator and then became an advertiser and a brander…and who knows what I’ll be tomorrow. So I wanted to take a closer look at the unique sub culture of artist working in an alternate field.

Continue Reading →

Disney World Paintings (World Rediscovered Collection) – Revel In The Maker’s Wake

Revel In The Maker’s Wake ( Piece two of The World Rediscovered Collection )
4 feet wide by 3 feet tall – Acrylic on mounted wood panel Continue Reading →

Disney World Paintings (World Rediscovered Collection) – Visitors At The Gate

Visitors At The Gate
Piece one of The World Rediscovered Collection )
4 feet wide by 3 feet tall – Acrylic on mounted wood panel Continue Reading →


Agency: Grey Canada
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Design, UX and wireframe development

Over the course of a 2010 and 2011 we took a single page website, adapted a US product site and frame work for the Canadian market, added and designed dozens of new areas and community focused tools and united what was a disjointed user experience into a cohesive single site: Mommyville. Continue Reading →

Cymbalta Symptom Checklist

Agency: Grey Canada
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Design

Developed in Flash and as an HTML Mobile specific version, the Cymbalta Checklist was created to allow people who believe they may be suffering from depression score their symptoms. Continue Reading →

The Alice Collection

The Alice Collection: Portraits From Wonderland

Featured in:
Bedtime Stories – Group Show
The Gallery At East Atlanta Tattoo,
Atlanta, Georgia
Opening December 6th

A small ongoing series of portraits from one of my childhood favourites.

The LCBO 3D elephant

Agency:Dashboard Communications and Due North
Project Role:
CGI Elephant: 3D Design, Modeling, Skeletal Rig, Texture Design and Character Animation Continue Reading →

Drive In Another Dimension: 3D Experience

Agency: Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Direct Mail Design, Campaign Look and Feel, City Map Planning and Storyboards, Project Management

Awards/Recognition: FWA Public Shortlist

The result of nearly 8 months of work; the Toyota Drive In Another Dimension campaign was my last project developed while at Dashboard and my proudest project – a result of tireless work from the OTDA Account team, programming department and creative department as well as all our 3rd party vendors. Continue Reading → Redesign

Agency:Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Site Frame Work Redesign, Project Management Continue Reading →

Toyota Canada More For You Promotion

Agency: Dashboard (Digital), Dentsu (Traditional)
Project Role:
Lead Art Director, Designer, & Managed Production

Built in a whirlwind time line over August we developed an online concept to feature 6 key vehicles and offers with supporting facts. Continue Reading →

Rules of Attraction Toyota Mailer

Agency: Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Design & Managed Production.

Designed an envelope, reminder letter, offer letter, email blast series and a magnet die-cut sheet for the kids. The idea supporting this campaign focused on the “magnetic” personalities of Toyota technicians and the quality of their work and dedication to service literally pulling or attracting Toyota owners back. Using this idea we developed a series of rules to live by to improve the relationship with your Toyota: The Rules of Attraction.

Hellmann’s Desktop Garden

Agency: Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Design & Managed Production.

Davey Silver Award 2007   category: Branding

Hellmann’s Digital Taste Test

Agency: Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Video and online Art Direction, Design & Managed Production.

In August 2007 Hellmann’s launched a nationwide campaign and taste test to challenge Canadians and see if they could tell the difference between Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise and Helllmann’s Half The Fat Mayonnaise. Dashboard was asked to create an entertaining and strategic online campaign. We decided to hire a pair of hosts and a production company and venture out with camera in hand to ask everyday people from all ages and cultures in Toronto and in Montreal if they could take the taste test.

Juicey Fruit Synchronized Interactive Banners

Agency: Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction & Managed Production.

AXE Cottage Contest

Agency: Dashboard Communications
Project Role:
Lead Art Direction, Design & Managed Production.

AXE Cottage Weekend Contest online. The site hosted extended and additional video clips from the lonely girl commercial, contest information and the sign up form. Accompanying the site and pushing more traffic, a banner campaign was developed which played off of the attraction to the male target of AXE girls feeling lonely at the cottage. Below is an example of one of the banners as well as additional slides from the micro site which featured smooth and subtle ongoing motion from the shadows to the moving clouds.

El Dia De Los Muertos Collection

El Dia De Los Muertos Art Show
Community Centre for Media Arts
Hamilton, Ontario
October 30th 2004
Group Show/Artist-Curator

The merging of two cultures and two celebrations, The Mexican holiday The Day of Dead and a little bit of Halloween, from the North American perspective, El Dia De Los Muertos Art Show with Three Steps Left of Normal and friends will bring togther unique artistic talents from the commercial, gallery and underground art worlds from all over North America. The walls will be filled with artwork specifically commissioned for the show and the environment filled with food, drink and music.

Welcome to verison 15 of Enjoy the new look and feel.

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