Wednesday, 3 June 2009

The Man who travelled 5,000 miles to buy an MOT failure - The Power of Video Marketing on Ebay

“Will you please get rid of that car”! my friend’s wife begged him. “It’s been sitting on the drive for a year now, you’re never going to get round to fixing it up”.
It was all true. The tatty Citroen 2CV had been rusting away for 12 months outside his house near Maidstone in Kent [UK]. It had been bought as a project car and hadn’t had an MOT for 3 years.
The engine still started easily and it drove OK, but it was very tatty with lots of rusty patches and the chassis looked ominously corroded.
So how to shift it? An advert in the local paper seemed like a good idea, but how much interest could you expect for such an old banger? To be honest, not a lot. Perhaps he’d have to pay someone to tow it to the breaker’s yard.
Then he had another idea; he put it on Ebay and to demonstrate that the car did still have a good heart, he filmed it motoring up and down his drive and posted the video on YouTube.
The result was spectacular. Within 3 days there were 72 people “watching” the car and interest was coming in from around the World.
What was causing such interest? My friend concluded it was the video. The fact that people could actually see the car driving along somehow made it seem more real, more desirable.
The winning bid came from a loveable aging hippy from the state of Washington in the USA. He emailed excitedly that no 2CV had ever been registered in Washington and that he and his family were flying over straight away to collect it.
It all sounded so crazy I grabbed my home movie camera and was on hand to film the family when they arrived. They brought US registration plates with them and there was a slightly bizarre United States citizenship ceremony for “Dilly” the 2CV. You can see it all for yourself on our YouTube site;

(or search for Kersh Media on YouTube).
As for Dilly, she’s starting an epic journey across the Atlantic, past Mexico, through the Panama Canal, up the coast of California and along Colorado River. When she arrives in Washington she’ll be restored and will have pride of place in the college parking lot where her new owners work.
And, with more Americans turning their backs on traditional gas guzzlers, the 2CVs impressive fuel economy (in excess of 50 mpg) will also be welcome. In fact the state of Washington has recently started offering tax incentives for owners of fuel efficient vehicles.
For me it’s an extraordinary example of people’s passion for cars. And of course the power of digital video and the internet.


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