If customers waiting for their cars to be fixed are watching late-night TV in the service-department lounge, it's not necessarily because the dealership keeps extended hours.
It's likely because the store subscribes to the Automotive Broadcasting Network, a private TV network intended to entertain and cross-sell dealership visitors on available products and services.
In a new alliance, CBS Outernet, a part of CBS, will power ABN with CBS programming not normally available during business hours, including clips from “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson,” “Entertainment Tonight,” and news content from “60 Minutes” and “The Early Show.”
Central to ABN's offering is a series of automotive-specific “shorts” such as tech tips and walk-arounds and customized content intended to ultimately increase sales.
“The CBS viewing experience is the perfect basis for ABN's unique business proposition because we are supplying rich content that is sure to engage the dealership visitor,” says George Schweitzer, president-CBS Marketing. “In turn, ABN is providing an excellent new outlet for CBS video programming.”
ABN was founded by Jerry Daniels, a former executive vice president of the Asbury Automotive dealership chain.
He says the idea for ABN was inspired by the powerful video programming that auto makers create to share upcoming model year plans with their dealer body.
He reasons that informative, compelling video media could also be effective in the dealership itself to create a bond with showroom visitors and customers waiting for their vehicle to be serviced.
ABN research indicates customers who choose to wait for their vehicles while they're being serviced spend an average of 92 minutes at the dealership. ABN says dealerships can relay up to 30 targeted messages an hour to those customers.
ABN provides hardware, installation and programming, with cost structures based on the level of content desired by individual dealers.