The Story of Pineapple Crush
It’s a bold statement, but one the head man from Pineapple Crush stands by. “YOUR COMMERCIALS SUCK!” Welcome to the new age, new way, new attitude, new producer of car dealership video – gone are the days of “we’re slashing prices,” “you’re approved,” and “we have the best price, service and selection.”
Meet Brian Barlow the creative juggernaut of the car and RV industry. If you’re looking for an advertising yes man, he’s not your guy. “Dealerships have really blown their opportunity to put their best foot forward, for some reason free production is the norm and lazy writing is typical, so I stepped in and am leading the charge of change.” Barlow is the owner and Creative Director of Pineapple Crush – he won’t use the words “agency” or “advertising” when describing his company, he’s adamant that dealerships in serious need of visual change don’t need an agency and they need to stop advertising.
Barlow is as cool as a fresh picked Pineapple and as cutting edge as a dollar shave club commercial. His statements are bold and his work is unique and highly sought after. It started in 2008 when the CFO of a major auto group came to Barlow and told him he should dive into the auto industry because no one does creative like “Barlow” does. After a few months of contemplation and a few calls from dealerships looking for something different – Barlow planted some seeds, watered and started changing an industry in need of good creative storytelling. Now Barlow is a frequently requested speaker at many digital and auto conferences offering up his version of new age marketing. “It’s simply about engagement – if your focus isn’t about how to engage your demo, you’re not having a relevant marketing discussion” Barlow’s speaking and production platform; Advertising is a four letter F word, Fail! When you advertise to someone you’re trying to make them remember something. When you engage them, they should feel something and that dynamic causes relevance, importance and an emotional tie. Advertising isn’t emotional, engagement is. “We produce video and commercials that lift up a dealership, sets them apart, makes them stand-out with true value propositions and honest storytelling built to make the watcher ask ‘was that a car commercial?”
Typical car commercials don’t work because car dealers are doing it wrong – for years dealers have promised “big sales, inventory blow-outs, we’ll beat any deal, $10,000 off any car on the lot, truck month every other month, and then dealers sit back and wonder why people don’t like them or why no one responds to their ads. I’m one of a few guys that will tell you, television isn’t broken you’re just allowing it to suck.
Listen, we all know the digital age is here and we all know people are using their mobile devices and the internet before making big purchases – while the dynamics in mediums have changed so has the way we speak to people, yet no one seems to be setting that standard in their respective market. Barlow and Pineapple Crush focus on building a brand, then a placement strategy built on 3 things – the power of Facebook, a direct response initiative on google and creative story-telling from Barlow himself. Gone are the days of newspaper, radio and billboard. Gone are the days of “traditional ad agencies.” Gone are the days of allowing TV stations to produce your dealership brand. Gone are the days of spray and pray…
I’m not looking for dealers who want to tell me what they want to do every month, I’m not looking for dealers who want to “advertise” – I’m looking for dealers who understand there’s a better way to speak to your customer, there’s a better way to engage your story and there’s a better way to spend your marketing dollars – you just need to stop listening to the “old school” guys. Find someone wearing a t-shirt who might not look like a typical suited salesman, that would be a good start says Barlow in his grey t-shirt and polo jeans & sneakers.
Barlow’s creative strategy has helped launch and grow many dealers across the country from Chevrolet brands, Volkswagen, Ford and CDJR stores – Barlow was even asked to dive into the RV world recently and just completed a record breaking brand launch for Blue Dog RV the countries’ second largest RV dealership group. His “engagement” team and formula seem to have everyone on bended knee begging for a little Pineapple juice so their commercials DON’T SUCK.