We all know Google’s evil hivemind constantly scans your GMail and targets advertisements to your recent mail threads. As a result, I’ve seen stuff from “Reliable Pregnancy Testing” to “Hundreds Of Collings Guitars In Stock” over the past few years, but what I saw this morning — “Check Out The Features Of The 2011 Lincoln Town Car” — intrigued me.
Why is Ford paying good money to direct people to the website pictured above?
While Chrysler falls flat on its face with inept social media and General Motors buys the bloggers’ bar every year at NAIAS in as heavy-handed a fashion as humanly possible, Ford’s gained a reputation for navigating the mostly navel-gazing and valueless world of “SM” a little more competently than the competition. They brought self-professed guru Scott Monty on board nice and early in the game and have reaped all sorts of rewards, up to and including giving a hundred Fiestas to a bunch of slackers for no particular reason.
The point is, Ford usually dances where the others bumble. Why pay good money, then, to point people towards a dead-end website for a discontinued car that doesn’t even say something like, “Hey, check out the MKS!” My suspicion is that Ford, like many companies, has let their “spend” with Google spiral out of control. Ask any small businessman who uses AdWords how easy it is to blow through your prepaid budget. Google may be free for the little people, but that’s because they are in the business of selling little people to big fish.
Little mistakes like this add up. Too much wasted ad money, too many free Fiestas, too many 1000-hits-a-month bloggers on press trips, and pretty soon it’s time to cut costs elsewhere… like on the door panels of the MKT. You know what would have been a better idea than spending money advertising the 2011 Lincoln Town Car a year after its demise? Building a new, and better, Town Car. As it currently stands, the iconic Lincoln, just like that puppy your mom and dad sent to the farm when you were six, is gone, and it’s never coming back.