Comcast's ad-sales division has created a 30-second commercial highlighting the importance in local communities of automobile dealers, a key local ad-sales category undergoing huge challenges.
The commercial, which Comcast Spotlight said is running on Comcast cable systems around the country, points out that car dealers employ more than 600,000 people and generate more retail dollars than any other industry.
Spotlight is using its local inventory to run the ads, produced by Dakota Video. Images are of what look like early Fords rolling off the assembly line, families having fun washing the car or sitting in a convertible at the local ice-cream shop, and of people looking around in a dealer's lot.
"Auto dealers throughout the country have been -- and continue to be -- a vital foundation of Comcast Spotlight's business," Jonathan Bernard, director of automotive ad sales, said in a release. "In times like this, it's the right thing to do to be there for them, acknowledging not just what they mean to our business, but what they mean to all of our communities."
Comcast Spotlight also has produced customizable advertisements that individual dealers and dealer associations can air to highlight their own contributions to local communities and economies, the company said.
The loss of car dealerships around the country, following such events as the General Motors bankruptcy, has wreaked such havoc as to prompt initiatives from television providers to try to help. One well-known example was in Washington, D.C., where Allbritton-owned WJLA offered $2,000 cash bonuses toward its employees' purchase of a new car. Allbritton said in May it thought the program led to $2 million in car sales in Washington and in other markets with Allbritton properties.