Our NAIAS preview post revealed a common theme of dissatisfaction with the slow-striptease style of product reveals, where manufacturers “leak” teaser shots ad nauseam in the run-up to a product launch. It seems the readers are tired of it, and frankly, I am too. So what’s to be done about it?
Reader Jaydez summed up the collective discontent occurring among enthusiasts with respect to the slow reveal
Unfortunately with all the advance attention that all new cars get between “leaks” spy shots, and guesses, nothing is a surprise when it is revealed with smoke and fireworks on a stage. I’m bored with it all. I wish at least one company would use the Apple model for revealing new products. Don’t release ANY information and make sure your employees abide by that too. Reveal it on stage at a big event, like the NAIAS, and follow it with, “you can build it online tonight. Order it at your dealer tomorrow. Production is already underway and deliveries will begin in 2 weeks.
THAT would be worth tuning in for. Until then I will just look at the pictures with the same unenthusiastic manner I have been in the last few years.
I for one, would welcome a return to the days when a new product launch was a big event. You had to wait for one of the buff books to do a feature on it, or perhaps log on to a poorly laid out car site to see a grainy digital image of the car. The real OGs no doubt remember one crappy snapshot appearing in the local paper’s Auto section.
But the current system of annoying teasers is here to stay. The key thing to recognize with this problem is that the slow reveal benefits two parties; the OEMs, who get “exposure” for the “brand” and most importantly, auto bloggers. I wrote a brief rant about this in February, but the point remains the same
It’s a symbiotic relationship between the OEM and the media that’s unlikely to change, given the dysfunctional economics of blogging, that rewards speed, sensationalism and superficial content (which generate clicks) over the kind of slow, measured, in-depth work that the foundations of real in-depth journalism are built on. The kind of content that takes time and money to produce, bores many readers because it’s over 800 words long and often gets displaced in the article hierarchy because a new Toyonda Camcord Juicy Couture Special Edition was released and if we’re not first at re-hashing the press release and stock photos, we’ll be rendered irrelevant.
Jaydez’s formula for a highly secretive launch with no leaks could very well lead to the same kind of frenzied hype – perhaps intensified due to the lack of information available. The less reputable blogs could even resort to the same sort of conjecture and rumors that tech blogs fall back on in the run-up to an Apple launch. It’s not like they don’t already publish erroneous and incorrect automotive info anyways. Unfortunately, it’s unlike that any of the OEMs will take the first step, since the current formula seems to be “working”.