News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 20, 2014

RONN MOTT: Great effort brings rewards

Ronn Mott
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — I want to tip my hat to young David Fuson who has become the spokesperson for the family business. Fuson Automotive is one of the good dealerships in the area. He certainly has the background to be the spokesperson for the company. It has been a family business for many years and a good dealership. He brings young enthusiasm and knowledge at the same time.

While I’m saluting good commercial efforts for automobile dealerships, how about the growth and expansion of Dorsett Automotive. After his baseball career wound down, Brian Dorsett started a car dealership with Mitsubishi and has expanded that with Hyundai and Nissan. Brian doesn’t do a lot of crazy things … he stands up in front of the camera and gives you the straight scoop, the prices of automotive deals and such. His approach is straight from the shoulder.

And over in Illinois, there is Jamie Pilson. He is more flamboyant and a little more extreme in the personal spokesperson area. Jamie must have an ad agency or a good production company assisting him because he succeeds in grabbing your attention with his flashy style. Anyway, these automotive spokespeople are three of the best.

For the others who are owners or managers and spokespersons on their TV ads, they fall a little short. Maybe it is because so many of them are filling the airwaves with their images on the screen. Some do a rather good job while others fall drastically short of the mark.

I know the reasoning … if you own the place, you feel you are the best to speak about it. I doubt this is true. It is difficult to conjure up any kind of advertisement — print, radio or TV — that brings hordes of people through the door to your business.

There may be some personal value in having your children on the commercial, or your grandchildren, or your wife, or your Uncle Charlie. But, please ask yourself, is this the best way to represent my business and does it work? Or is it just some self-satisfying ego stunt? I think if you ask yourself those questions, your commercials might be better.

•••

I made a mistake the other day when writing about Midwest Broadcasting Co. acquiring stations in and around Evansville. I said it was 12 and I was off by three. South Central actually owned stations in two markets larger than Evansville. They are located in Knoxville and Nashville, Tenn.

It brings the total station acquisitions to nine. I hate making mistakes but, like in the NBA, no harm, no foul. It appears to me it will be interesting for Midwest and, certainly, an opportunity to be quite profitable.

•••

I’ve lost another friend, classmate and Terre Haute businessman, Don Vrabic. Donnie Matt and I began elementary school together in September of 1942. We were in the same high school graduating class at Clinton, and all of his classmates will miss him.

If my memory is good, Don began to work for his father at his dad’s Texaco Station and repair shop early in 1953 and took over the operation when his father died.

Don’s sons will take over the business from his passing and carry on the tradition. I remember, growing up, Don Vrabic always had a job. Now, the job he had longest with his family’s name on it will be run by his two sons.

Ronn Mott, a longtime radio personality in Terre Haute, writes commentaries for the Tribune-Star. His pieces are published online Tuesday and Thursday on Tribstar.com, and in the print and online editions on Saturday.