The Jeff Wyler Automotive Family near Cincinnati is going to new heights to wow vehicle buyers.
The 14-dealership group has purchased a drone -- a remote-controlled, unmanned aircraft -- to spice up promotions, social media campaigns and vehicle-delivery celebrations, said E-commerce Director Kevin Frye.
"In a highly competitive market, the need to differentiate yourself has never been more important," Frye said.
This summer, Jeff Wyler Automotive paid $1,200 for the drone with a high-definition, GoPro camera mounted underneath the aircraft.
The camera is gyro-stabilized to minimize bouncing and disorientation while producing high-quality aerial photos and video, Frye said.
Frye, a former U.S. Navy aviator, said the drone is fun to fly. But Jeff Wyler Automotive has serious plans for it.
Perhaps the coolest use will be to provide customers taking delivery of vehicles with a memorable video. The camera will record salespeople handing over keys, hover shots of the driver through the passenger window and the car leaving the dealership.
That's the kind of unique video that customers will want to post to their Facebook pages and other social networks, providing Jeff Wyler with indirect publicity, Frye said.
Frye envisions a multitude of other uses for the drone.
He said the Jeff Wyler Automotive video team has started experimenting with aerial shots of inventory lots to show shoppers the wide selection that each store offers.
The drone can safely fly up to 400 feet for the wide-angle shots needed to show inventory, he said.
Additionally, the video team has started shooting B-roll video and shots of dealership exteriors, logos and vehicles, Frye said.
Those will come in handy because the group sends vehicle videos and photos to shoppers whenever they inquire about a vehicle either electronically or by phone.