SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vermont — Heritage Toyota Scion has found that making documentaries of its customers and the communities in which they live sells cars.
The dealership, with the help of Mt. Mansfield Media, recently produced and hosted a public screening of Addison. The 24-minute film highlights a community that's agriculturally driven and values its past, and showcases the hard-working people that make the economy hum along.
It has made similar "More Love" films on other local towns, residents and events, including the Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl, a high school football game that helps to fund care at the Shriners Hospitals for Children, and a thoughtful look at how the community treats its water ecosystem.
The "building pride" marketing approach has made celebrities out of local residents, who are now more aware of the dealership and often give Heritage Automotive Group, which also owns Heritage Ford, consideration when buying a car, Ryan Denecker, general sales manager, told Edmunds.
"Hopefully, the net effect on the business side is maybe we'll get more business out of it," Denecker said. "At the end of the day, it really doesn't matter a whole heck of a lot at this point because we're really enjoying being community-minded and we're bringing a lot of people together to highlight some of the things about our state and our community that are really important to us, and we've met some great people along the way."
Edmunds says: This dealership takes a page from the playbook of documentarian Ken Burns to forge a strong community bond.