Ron Tonkin appeals to younger buyers with zombies


The Tonkin Family of Dealerships is targeting Gen Y buyers with a new ad campaign featuring zombies.

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The Tonkin Family of Dealerships is targeting Gen Y buyers with a new ad campaign featuring zombies.

The first of the three-ad series aired on Friday the 13th.

As auto dealers and manufacturers emerge from some of the most challenging years they’ve faced in decades, they’re taking aim at Generation Y — a prospect that’s harder to pull off than it sounds but necessary. The group born between the late 1970s and early 2000s is expected to make up 40 percent of the car-buying population by next year. But such shoppers have entirely different habits from their parents and — in Portland in particular — are especially cynical and averse to traditional advertising.

Executives from Honda have said that after two years of researching Gen Y, the manufacturer found a “huge affinity” for characters ranging from vampires to zombies to monsters.

“Nothing is the way it used to be,” Brad Tonkin said. “We have to really think hard about the way we do anything.”

Read more at OregonLive.com.

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