CONSHOHOCKEN, Pennsylvania — Conicelli Autoplex is a five-brand dealer group in the Philadelphia area. The dealer's "Mr. Nice Guy" slogan highlights the smiling face of owner Dominic Conicelli, a Conshohocken native who has been a car dealer since 1957.
Conicelli's clever marketing idea is to incentivize customers to put dealership advertising magnets on their cars. For more than six years, dealership representatives have been looking for cars around town that are wearing the "Play I Spy Mr. Nice Guy" magnets and entering them into a drawing for a prize.
At the end of December, a $500 cash prize went to longtime customer Gloria Domino, whose Toyota Camry was wearing the Conicelli magnet.
Later in 2015, a beach house rental giveaway is planned.
"Customers love that one," Conicelli Marketing Vice President Michael Hammond told Edmunds.
The dealership holds a party for everyone entered in the drawing and, he said, "We hand out keys to the rental house. We have a huge mural of the house, and the key that opens the lock gets the house. We encourage people to bring their children and have all kinds of games. At our last event, we had over 250 customers and their friends and family."
To explain the idea of the "Mr. Nice Guy" image on the magnet, he said, "Our logo has been 'A Nice Place to Do Business' for many years. The word 'nice' happens to be in the middle of the name Conicelli."
Hammond and his wife, Internet Sales Director Lori Hammond, came up with the cartoon caricature of dealer principal Dom Conicelli, who's also Lori's dad.
Spotting the magnets can be fun, he said.
Last month, the Hammonds stopped at a local Dunkin' Donuts and spotted four Conicelli Mr. Nice Guy magnets on cars in the parking lot. Inside the store, they ran into eight customers who had bought cars from one of the Conicelli dealerships. The customers had become friends through the contest and met at the coffee shop a couple of times a month to catch up.
Needless to say, breakfast was on Mr. Nice Guy.
"Not only were they excited to see us, all of the other patrons of the business, as well as the workers, wanted their own Mr. Nice Guy magnets," Michael Hammond said.
Hammond told Edmunds that the magnet promotion "has been one of the best marketing tools and feel-good promotions I have ever been a part of."
Edmunds says: A clever way for a dealer to build customer enthusiasm and popular buzz.