By on February 20, 2013

As a first-rate cynic and an enthusiast of the English language, I reflexively cringe when I hear the latest “CBC buzzwords” (CBC is Canada’s version of NPR) that get thrown around by the sort of people who think that bicycles will eventually replace cars as our main mode of transportation in our future communitarian-utopia of urban living.

You may have heard them before; words like “vibrant”, “sustainable” or “diverse” inevitably always used as a positive adjective regarding one’s proximity to a farmer’s market or yoga studio. Describing oneself as a “storyteller” when one’s employment situation is murky at best. Describing any commodity good as “artisinal”. This is what I call “word torture”, and if George Carlin were still alive, he’d have a field day.

Imagine my horror when I logged on to the website for the latest installment of Ford’s Fiesta movement and saw it was chock-full of these nebulous descriptors. I nearly had to go back and read one of TTAC’s “Volts on Fire” stories just to calm my rapidly rising blood pressure.

For 2014, Ford is refreshing the new Fiesta, and adding a 1.0L 3-cylinder Ecoboost engine. They’re also dragging out the much touted Fiesta Movement social media campaign to help promote the car.

As we all know, Ford loves “social” – another nebulous word in our increasingly vapid 21st century lexicon. I am just old enough to remember when “social” had nothing to do with sitting in front of a computer screen, which was by definition, anti-social. Today it apparently means using a bunch of web tools to get people to create free marketing…err, “content” in the parlance of the internet.

Make no mistake, that’s exactly what this is. In exchange for a new Fiesta, gas, insurance and some camera gear, participants in the Fiesta movement are going to be creating free ads for Ford. Because after all, if you are not paying for a product or a service – especially online - you are the product. Well, your data is, but that’s another story altogether.

Previously, Generation Why has questioned the efficacy of campaigns like the Fiesta Movement. In addition to telling you how enthralled they are with “social”, Ford loves to tout how many impressions the Fiesta movement got; 3.5 million on Twitter and more than 6.5 million on Youtube.

Sounds impressive, right? Two problems here.

  1. 1) Those 6.5 million views are spread over 700 videos created by 100 participants. A friend of mine, with a Canon 5D, a rented Challenger and a B-List rapper, created a video with 41 million views and counting. Ford’s numbers look pathetic when more details come to light.
  2. 2) What the hell are “impressions” anyways? Frankly, I’m prepared to go out on a limb and label them a BS metric that doesn’t really tell us anything but sounds really good to people who nod their head out of fear of seeming irrelevant and out of touch.

Do the math and the average views per video is less than impressive. Think about it; we are all facing increasing demands for our attention, whether it’s TV, Netflix, video games, the internet, viral videos, past due bills, nagging spouses, recreational pursuits and in the case of Generation Why, making enough money just to move out of our parents basements and start a real life. Do we have time to watch some shitty amateur hack job of a video filmed on a GoPro about a car that will make us look poor (remember hatchback = poverty for everyone that doesn’t pray at the altar of European Auto Supremacy). Not a chance.

But Ford persists with the Fiesta Movement, the godawful Escape Routes reality TV show and the idiotic Jimmy Fallon Lincoln ad. It is astonishing that a company that creates such superb cars and manages to do a good job selling them (usually the two are mutually exclusive) is wedded to awful social media campaigns. Even Rihanna’s steadfast loyalty to Chris Brown is easier to decipher. It could be that Scott Monty and the rest of the “social” crew just need to justify their jobs and their lucrative compensation packages. The more likely answer is that nobody really knows which end is up, and everyone is afraid to say that the emperor is naked. At least that’s my impression.

 N.B At the end of 2012, sales of the Fiesta trailed the segment leader, the Nissan Versa, by a roughly 2:1 margin. The Fiesta ranks 4th in the segment, with the Chevrolet Sonic and Hyundai Accent ranking in 2nd and 3rd. The Honda Fit is nipping at the Fiesta’s heels. 

 

 

 

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63 Comments on “Generation Why: I Get The “Impression” That Ford Wants To Party Again...”


  • avatar
    Flybrian

    “Impressions” are a lot like the “Search Views” on my Cars.com inventory reports.

    4715 people ‘searched’ a 2007 Explorer Limited, which means our Explorer came up as a search result everytime someone searched “2007 Ford Explorer” or “2007 Ford” or “Ford Explorer” or “SUV under $17k” or “Under 70k Miles” or “All cars in 25 mi radius of xxxxx” and so forth. As in the impression case, very big net, very nebulous meaning, and a very tenuous conclusion to draw from that number.

    238 ‘Detail Views’ of said car are reported, meaning 238 people clicked the listing and at least read it. More accurate, more meaningful, at least xxx# of people LOOKED at the damn thing.

    6 people ‘contacted’, meaning printed out the listing, printed out directions, or e-mailed me. One was me printing the listing for a customer. Self-explanatory measurement, though..

    My old GM loved to bust my chops about how many people searched such-and-such car and why no one bought it, what’s wrong with me, why am I not closing, why I’m not following up, buy me lunch and I’ll forget about this conversation for a half hour. I tried constantly the explain to him that just because some Corvette or Mustang had a billion ‘searches’ didn’t mean anything. I was explaining it to a wall. And I ended up buying lots of meals as a result to just get through my week.

    • 0 avatar

      I wonder how many people who do the searches and detail views are just scanning the market to dream about their next car, and don’t actually have a budget for what they’re looking for. I know I’ve done that millions of times, without even the slightest ability to actually come up with the money and do a transaction.

      Admittedly, I’m sure this is much less of a problem for a 2007 Ford Explorer than, say, a 2008 Mercedes CLS class, but I’m sure a lot of views are not in any way meaningful.

      D

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        The numbers get skewed for the exact reason you mention when it comes to sports cars, high-end cars, and clunkers. $5000 and under buyers are browsing for whatever catches their eye in a certain bodystyle for that price while most of the former two are dreamers.

        Out of 55 cars, my two most-searched and detail-viewed for awhile were a 2013 Camaro ZL1 and a $500 Plymouth Voyager.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      I read these posts a great deal about a superior doesn’t understand something and wants to know why you aren’t sucessful. I’m going to go ahead and say it. The superior understands, they just don’t care and want to use the metric to their own advantage because administration with this many levels need to constantly justify their own position to the next superior up.

      Now to be on topic: Ford gives 100 fiesta leases away. Gets some buzz on youtube. The total of the marketing experiment comes up to a few commercials nationally in the watershed. They get further attention by bloggers, some good some bad, all attention is good. At the end of the day the total cost to benefit ratio is tremendous if it sells 1000 fiestas a year. TTAC still gripes. Ford is pleaaed with their marketing exercise.

      D segment cars aren’t really where it’s at and the Focus/Fusion does much better.

    • 0 avatar
      otter

      What, you weren’t a closer??

      http://vimeo.com/14305226

      (just teasing)

  • avatar
    Mullholland

    Nice post, Derek. Truer words never get spoken—cause they’d put a lot of people out of work.
    Those nebulous “impressions” are the perfect metric for what all of the kids are calling social media. Pretty much the same B.S. metric that gives all of the old-school advertising hangers-on much-to-much leeway during the silly season known as THE SUPERBOWL.
    It’s all just cover for ad agencies looking to pad media budgets and billable hours.

    • 0 avatar
      Xeranar

      There is an argument that modern advertising is wholly ineffective but is so deeply engrained into our economy that we need it to keep a stable economy. I’m inclined to agree with the argument but the cost of media would skyrocket and create a vacuum.

      • 0 avatar
        JMII

        As someone who has worked in marketing I agree: its 99% ineffective! However we know this, because even that small 1% of the time it does works more then makes up for it because of the huge numbers being thrown around. I’m pretty sure Ford would be thrilled with a 1% return on 6.5 million “likes” or “views” or whatever metric they are using. When I worked in direct mail the general “take” rate on any given offer was around 1.5%, thus we routine dropped (some might say bombed) millions of junk mail pieces into perspective customer’s homes/offices in order to ring up sales. With a good ad/deal we might crack 3% …and we selling things WAY cheaper then a CAR! At least now on the internet you get some direct metric (views, hits, likes, whatever) contrast that with traditional/normal advertising (radio, tv, mail) when you rarely knew if your target audience even heard/saw the message.

      • 0 avatar
        wumpus

        There used to be a bunch of free engineering periodicals that were supported by product ads. Then either they went online or otherwise allowed the advertised companies to determine how much business they were getting for the ad money. Those publications are either no longer in business or completely online, mostly out of business.

        What boggles my mind is how much coke and pepsi have to advertise to keep people from suddenly decided to buy the other product. If one of them finds a way to cut the ad budget and maintain sales, expect others to follow and the whole media system to collapse.

  • avatar
    AMC_CJ

    “Do we have time to watch some shitty amateur hack job of a video filmed on a GoPro about a car?”

    Those of us who can actually afford new cars? I don’t (although I do waste time on here, so maybe?) Then, I find myself to be fairly out of touch compared to most people in their late 20′s; or at least those who have nothing but time but play on twitter, facebook, and god knows what else. Between work, and actual real hobbies, my time I don’t.

    What Ford, or somebody in general, needs to do is figure out WHO and HOW those people are actually buying cars. I just bought a new Ford a little over a year ago, although not a Fiesta (I gave it a shot, the price was appealing, but I couldn’t bring myself to spend that much money on something so awful).

    First is first; are the people they’re trying to appeal to actually in any kind of position to buy a new car (without outside help?). I think Ford needs to rethink their demographic. I know everybody wants to jump in on and hook the “young professionals” market, but the young people with the real money are the ones working in skilled-labor; not locked up at a desk with bottom-rung jobs that barely pays off their student loans.

    • 0 avatar

      In my bachelor party post, one of the commenters mocked my friends for not having their own cars. One of my friends just won a Grammy for writing and producing songs on a MAJOR #1 Billboard album, the rest are professionals and they are all doing fine. But buying a car, getting insured and paying for parking and other ancillary costs would stretch his budget beyond his comfort zone. He COULD buy one, but it would not be the financially responsible thing to do. I would love a new car but cannot justify it.

      This is the reality in a lot of major urban centers, where the sort of customers that Ford is targeting, tend to reside.

      On the other hand, my folks look to be getting an Escape SEL 2.0 when it comes time to trade in their XC60 T6. More content, better fuel economy, more interior room for a lot less money. As my Mum said yesterday “why even bother with a Lincoln MKX?”

      • 0 avatar
        AMC_CJ

        “This is the reality in a lot of major urban centers, where the sort of customers that Ford is targeting, tend to reside.”

        The urban area down here is old, and the people I know who live in the thick of it have street parking, or some older homes have an alley-drive way. Most of the younger people I run into down along the river banks don’t have a car, and are usually crammed several into a house. They also have various employment situations.

        If you go for one of the new factory-converted apartments in the newer side of the city, be ready to pay around $100/month for a single space. The first apartment I had, about 15mins out in typical suburbia USA, I rented a garage for not much more then that.

        Still, for the most part, the elusive successful 20yo something that does buy a new car, are not the “young professional” ( I use that term loosely) living in big-city USA. Why Ford, and for that matter, others, going for the crowd is beyond me. Perhaps TTAC staff should put their skills together and do what the major makers aren’t; find out the true demographic of the below 30 crowd who have money, and are buying new cars. Where do they live, income, marital status, etc. Would be cool to see that write up. We know the market is being missed; lets find out what it really is.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Derek-

        As a “young” professional, I care a lot more about what you, Jack, Michael, Alex, etc have to say about a car than a hipster douche YouTube ad bought by a free Fiesta. There are so many better uses for corporate dollars than things like “Escape Routes”.

        I don’t understand why they want a repeat of the Fiesta Movement. The first go ’round didn’t exactly make Fiestas fly off the lots. Ford will have the same result all over again. They still aren’t addressing the Fiesta’s biggest problem; the Focus can be had for the same monthly payment on a lease.

      • 0 avatar
        ranwhenparked

        @bball40dtw

        If it helps, I’m probably what could be considered a 20-something professional, making not bad but not great money. I live and work an hour outside a major east coast city, and bought a new Ford within the past few months. I have private, off-street parking and need to own a vehicle and drive a lot for my job. Not having a car isn’t an option, but even if it technically was, it would never be for me anyway because I’m a car enthusiast and enjoy having personal mobility.

        There are three other people like me in my office that are in basically the exact same situation, and who the heck knows how many others tucked away in all the office parks and business campuses around here. I’m thinking this is probably Ford’s most realistic market.

      • 0 avatar
        mcarr

        It’s difficult for me to understand that a “professional” that is “doing fine” can’t afford a car, unless the funds which normally would be used for a car are being taken up by living location, internet/cable, mobile device(s), and/or feeding and caring for a number of Apple products. In which case, a choice is being made and you’ve discussed this in detail in previous Gen Why articles.

        • 0 avatar

          Easy: where I live, rents are much more expensive than average ($1000+ for a one bedroom apartment), gas is closer to $6 a gallon than $5, insurance for males under 25 will run you a couple hundred a month on average, taxes are much higher and things like food, cable, internet are also much pricier. They say Canada is about 30 percent more expensive than the US on average.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I very much enjoyed Toronto when I visited but from what I gathered from the locals and your comments it seems to be jaw dropingly expensive to live there in an honest job (not even taking VAT into account). Several hundred dollars a month for car insurance? I see now why the city wisely held on to its streetcar system (whereas Pittsburgh so wisely destroyed its streetcar system in the 1960s to be replaced by an occasional half filled bus and nothing).

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Here’s the thing though – those young folks making good money in the skilled trades are pretty much making as much as they will ever make, unless they end up owning their own business. The young professionals are actually at the start of a career – they will probably be making several multiples of their current salaries in 25 years with a little luck.

      But I agree, it is a waste of time, money, and energy to be marketing to the young. They are just going to buy a used something nicer anyway. I actually like Fiestas quite a bit, but they are all driven by middle-aged and up folks. They are pretty much an empty-nester commuter car, or for retired old fogeys with no money.

      Personally, I bought my first new car at 31, which was WAAAAY before any of my friends. Didn’t buy my second new one until 40, which is when most of my friends started buying new cars. And we are all a pretty seriously well-paid professional bunch of guys, not even living in anything remotely resembling a “major urban center”.

  • avatar

    Looks like the emperor is naked indeed. What’s up with Ford advertising? I can’t remember a single campaign. I’d just start over. Great analysis Derek!

    • 0 avatar
      APaGttH

      Denis Leary F150 ads is the only one I can remember. However I’m a huge Leary fan so I recognize his voice.

      An add that is running like crazy is this hipster looking douche holding a bunch of signs with some faux blues song playing in the background as the hipster silently flips cardboard signs by telling me to get my butt into a Ford dealer.

      God I hate those ads and I just want to slap that hat off of that dude’s head.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Denis Leary F150 ads is the only one I can remember.”

        We all have different tastes. Those F-150 commercials , to me, are the aural and video equivalent of a meth fueled diatribe.

    • 0 avatar
      RS

      I remember the Ford ads with Mike Rowe. He could be used more (and more effectively) than they do.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    …But Ford persists with the Fiesta Movement, the godawful Escape Routes reality TV show and the idiotic Jimmy Fallon Lincoln ad. It is astonishing that a company that creates such superb cars and manages to do a good job selling them (usually the two are mutually exclusive) is wedded to awful social media campaigns…

    And lets add, the campaigns, aren’t working.

    From 2007 to 2011 the average age of a Ford buyer has gone from 48 to 52.

    The average age of Lincoln buyer has jumped from 55 to 60.

    It is the two biggest jumps in the auto industry (Lincoln had the biggest jump of all makes and now has the oldest demographic of all makes).

    If anything, the data shows that younger buyers are fleeing Ford as fast as they can.

    • 0 avatar
      philadlj

      Makes perfect sense that the age of Ford and Lincoln buyers are rising to an age many people equate with being out of touch, since so many of their marketing campaigns are just that.

      They’re not even IRONICALLY out of touch either!

  • avatar
    Flybrian

    Another thing to realize is that the automobile industry – especially at the dealership level – has been languishing in the technological doldrums for so long that any and everyone with a magic potion re: the internet is hailed as a savior to dealer principals desperate to grab at anything that makes them seem like they ‘get it.’

    My same old GM always harangued me about “You gotta tweet this” and “We need to be on Facebook! People all over are selling cars on Facebook!” without really understanding the concept of any of it all. He’d promptly do a crushed line of xanex and forget about it for another day or so, though.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      My current employer is run by people in their mid sixties to mid seventies, and they got too excited about “falling behind” in 2010 and initiated a $20 million dollar project to migrate our 2000 era technological products (asp classic to those in the know) to Silverlight compatible fun-ness.

      Well they would have had a better chance of proper ROI with scratch-and-win lotto tickets. Now they are pissed, they and the “tech leaders” in my dept. failed to realize what they needed to build and determine what out customer’s needs really were, it was just buzz ideas such as “this needs to work on Ipads”, “we need to support Safari”, “what about smartphones” etc. Less than 3% of our users logged into the new products with Safari, (because well f*** Safari its Firefox or Chrome pick one) we never quite figured out Ipad because Apple doesn’t really support Silverlight and Microsoft later pulled the plug on future development, and we never even got to smartphones. A two year $20 million dollar project which yielded little all because it never focused on what needed to happen, it was all half developed wish list stuff. I suspect the new car business is similar, so what people sell cars on Facebook? People do alot of stupid things, until those stupid things start making up significant volume, they are all outliers.

      • 0 avatar
        George Herbert

        In the late 90s I worked as the infrastructure and network architect and infrastructure implementation and operations lead on a capacity-wise top-10 website buildout from scratch. Total hardware + operations budget was roughly like $35 million over the first two years, and web coding efforts were upwards of $10 million. We (the extended team mostly doing the web programming and content) spent a large part of our time trying to get the execs to agree to getting the bricks & mortar part of the company tied in to the website. We failed.

        They’re out of business now, reduced to a brand name glued on the side of another company. Because their competition, who did the thing that tying the bricks & mortar to the web would have done, now own the market.

        Sometimes you just lose.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Sometimes you just lose, and that’s why there’s failblog :)

      • 0 avatar
        genomad

        That sucks,
        Organization and focus are everything.

        Tech leaders are often clueless. Any tech project needs a competent engineer in a decision influencing position.

        And Silverlight?? what a horrible choice in hindsight.

        Not to deviate to far from the Car focus of the site, but there is one basic truth in web development. Always avoid Microsoft technology when building a website.

        Past examples of how they screw over web developers.

        1. Microsoft JVM — Broken, by design.
        2. Asp — Abandoned, no clear transition path.
        3. IE 4-7 — Not standards compliant, needed messy work around to get anything to work.
        4. Silverlight – mostly abandoned. If it wasn’t for netflix no one would ever install it.
        5. Expensive Unreliable servers.
        6. Activex – securtiy nightmare.
        7. ETC, too many more to list..

        But I’ll grant you that most of the .net framework is actually pretty nice.. But Im sure it will get abandoned as soon as Steve Ballmer sees something shiny.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        Thats called bad Project Managment.

        Tell them to higher some people to do that next time. It requires you to talk to the customer. Since most places don’t know how to do that in my experience.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      I for one am enjoying your anecdotes about your boss and your life in car sales. Get on the future write bus that’s currently passing through.

      • 0 avatar
        Flybrian

        Heh. Thanks. I’ve always told people I’d one day write a book about all this. I just wonder if anything I have to share would be that much different than Steven Lang. I definitely have some Baruthian-style anecdotes about managerial cocaine indulgence, though.

        I just may give it a shot.

    • 0 avatar
      ranwhenparked

      That’s my office to a tee. My supervisor is always coming up with proposals for me or someone else to attend expensive “social media seminars” and other such training events, I’ve been to three in the past few years and no idea that has been presented at any of them has ever actually been implemented by us. I bring the info back, make a presentation to him of what strategies might be doable for us and how to go about them, along with expected results, and nothing happens. The most recent time, I had something better to do that day and just flat-out asked him what he planned to accomplish by me wasting another day in an auditorium. What demographic was he trying to do a better job reaching? What social media platforms does he want us to start using? How are we going to integrate them with what we’re already doing? Does he have any ideas as far as where he wants us to go with social media in general?

      I got a blank stare, and an explanation that he doesn’t know what any of that technology stuff is and that’s why he sends his younger staff to these conferences. This time around, he sent someone else.

      I think some of this is just going through the motions. Social media is hip, social media is current, other companies are doing it, so we need to make sure we at least have a representative present when it’s being discussed, if for nothing else than to just save face, even if we don’t actually do anything.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Honestly, does the marketing world see some kind of correlation between “Generation Y” and new subcompacts? I’m not seeing it.

    If Generation Y is anything its used cars of all varieties either gifted or purchased with Starbucks level wages, so sub $7000 retail.

    You want to move new product to the 20-30 crowd? Realize even a $20K out-the-door purchase with $2K down at 3% is still $323.44/month for 60 months. This is tough payment for the $7.35/hr crowd, even before you factor in $4.00 gas and $80-100/month insurance for collision/liability on the new ride. For $403.44 *every month* (payment (323.44) + insurance (80)), I want maximum car for my money.

    Sell something Camcordish… make it FWD, boring, but versatile, *size it between C and D segments*, price it in the 17-20K range (Camcordish size car for Corolla money), make it available as sedan or five door hatch and viola. Subaru does something similar to this with Impreza 2.0i at 17,800 + dest and 5 door at 18,400 + dest, but (1) AWD is much more expensive and complicated to maintain for the frugal/poor Gen Y buyer in the long term and (2) Impreza fits firmly into the C segment. Offer your customers slightly more car for similar money (and under Camry’s $22,235 MSRP) and I think you may have something.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey 28 cars later!

      You just arrived at the reasons for Dacia’s success in the ROW! Quite good. Some car company should hire you asap.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      You can find new midsized sedans around $20K. I priced out a Fusion SE at between $21K and $22K, including rebates. The Focus is a better deal right now because there is $2000 on the hood plus 0% for 60 months. The Fiesta serves no purpose based on Focus pricing.

    • 0 avatar
      Marko

      Arguably what VW already does with the Jetta. (The Golf is similarly priced but somewhat smaller.)

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        I really don’t know much about VW’s offerings to dispute this, and I do see a sport wagon offered at just over 20K msrp on their website, it does appear they might be offering just what I described. If VW could build a more reliable car akin to Toyota, I think they would be much more dangerous in the sales dept.

  • avatar
    tatracitroensaab

    Now if only ford could sort out mytouch…..

    Honestly the versa does not belong in the same segment as the fiesta or the sonic, the versa sedan is huge and should really count as a “compact” even though it has a subcompact price. In any case, sales in this segment aren’t so important anyway — subcompacts are kind of a niche segment that doesn’t have room for a lot of successful players

  • avatar

    Vibrant, susainable, diverse, artisinal… blech. But if you really need to toss your cookies, listen to The Splendid Table with Lynne Rosetto Kasper on NPR.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    “Ford loves to tout how many impressions the Fiesta movement got; 3.5 million on Twitter and more than 6.5 million on Youtube.”

    They are marketing to a crowd that pitifully associates big numbers with success, even when the numbers have no real meaning. They obsess over how many “friends” they have on farcebook, even when most of them have never been met face to face. A bigger number makes them feel more popular.

    6.5 million views on youtube sure sounds impressive… until the next “Baby/Dancing/Kittens/Friday” sensation pops up and gets 14 million views in its first 10 hours.

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    Meanwhile at TTACrack

    Generation Why: I Get The Impression That Kobe Wants To “Party” Again

    As a first-rate cynic and an enthusiast of the English language, I reflexively cringe when I hear the latest “NBA buzzwords” (NBA is the US version of NHL, but with cylinder shaped pucks) that get thrown around by the sort of people who think that gold plated Range Rovers on dubs will eventually replace cars as our main mode of transportation in our future McMansion-on-steroids-utopia of suburban living.

    You may have heard them before; words like “consensual” or “fidelity” inevitably always used as a positive adjective regarding one’s promiscuity at a farmer’s market or yoga studio.

    Imagine my horror when I logged on to the website for the latest installment of Kobe’s out of state adventures and saw it was chock-full of these nebulous descriptors. I nearly had to go back and read one of TTACkrack’s “Foil on Fire” stories just to calm my rapidly rising blood pressure.

    Read More>

    At least I tried to correct my error, but “A Man. A Child. A Cash transaction, Parte Dois: Cheap, fun and beautiful” was far more beautiful, at least according to Woody Allen.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    And some more bad news that points to failed advertising campaigns (given the product mix is pretty damn good).

    Ford’s marketshare in 2012 plunged down to 15.2%

    http://www.leftlanenews.com/fords-sales-market-share-dropped-in-2012.html

  • avatar
    DrunkenDonuts

    I’m in Generation Y and probably fit the demographic Ford wants. However, most of my friends (all in their mid to late 20s) are getting married and making babies, and don’t fit the demographic Ford is targeting at all. I do know of ONE friend who gave up her car for the trade off of living very close to work downtown. The rest of us are too broke to afford a new car. As for internet marketing, I think I can safely say that most of us my age completely ignore ads or thinly veiled “Look at us having fun with life using this product” ads in general. Heck, I use Adblock specifically so I can have an ad-free existence on the internet. We also have lovely inventions like Netflix/Hulu and DVRs to bypass most ads.

    Those of us on Facebook/Youtube/etc aren’t using it to tell other people what to buy. We just like seeing what people are up to and looking at pictures of their spawn, living arrangements, vacation photos, the occasional binge drinking festival, arguing over whether it’s Obama’s fault, and the MOST important: spamming images of cats doing funny things.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Superb by what metric?

    Consumer Reports has just sounded an alarm regarding the shitty fit & finish (they don’t ever recall seeing new vehicles with the types of gaps, rough edges, misaligned FRONT DOORS ON BOTH SIDES, etc. as they have with ALL 3 of their recently purchased Fusions) and sinking reliability of MANY of Ford’s new vehicles, including the Fusion, Explorer and Edge.

    In addition to that, CR, a non-emotional purveyor of all thing statistical, implicitly asked the sharp question of why anyone would want Ford’s ecoboost motors when they a) cost more, b) are not reliable, and c) get WORSE fuel economy than larger, more powerful, faster, normally aspirated ones.

    Oh my.

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      And they called me foolish when I suggested to Ford it should be 444hp road-runner motors across the damn board.

      • 0 avatar
        DeadWeight

        raph, it’s not as if I’m criticizing Ford “just because.”

        Anyone who actually gets beyond my admittedly frequent criticisms of particular Ford/Lincoln vehicles will also see that I think the Escape, as just one example, is a well executed vehicle and close to best in class in terms of ride quality and interior materials, even if it’s– at least, priced relatively highly on a comparative basis.

        I also think its fair to give Ford credit for the ride quality, quietness and exterior design of the Fusion.

        Ride quality and chassis engineering are literal foundational areas of any vehicle that I’d ever consider buying, and some Ford vehicles such as the Fusion and Escape are equal to or better than even many more expensive competitors.

        The issues Ford is struggling with include:

        1) Backsliding on reliability (and not just electronic components, but critical mechanical ones such as motors and transmissions),

        2) Backsliding on fit & finish and general assembly quality,

        3) Significantly misrepresenting fuel economy figures for vehicles such as the C-Max Hybrid (there are claims they’ve also misrepresented the Fusion Hybrid’s fuel economy),

        4) Pushing relatively small turbocharged engines in vehicles such as the Fusion that not only aren’t as responsive or refined as competitors’ offerings, but get significantly worse fuel economy (what is the point of this strategy?).

        I’m not going to take broad brush potshots at Ford, but anyone paying attention and who is being objective has to admit that there are issues that FoMoCo needs to address stat, and they aren’t minor issues.

  • avatar
    ajla

    None of this has to do with trucks, which is still Ford’s best, most popular, and most profitable segment.

    How many 3-cylinder Fiestas do they need to sell to keep the 6.2 alive?

    • 0 avatar
      raph

      Huh… aren’t CAFE rules suffciently arcane enough that Ford wouldn’t have to sell very many if any 3 cylinder Fiestas at all to sell a 6.2 F-150, although they might have to sell a gaggle of 3.7 base and Eco-Boost F-150′s to offset the 6.2

  • avatar
    campocaceres

    Hahahaha. “Volts on fire”. That’s pretty good, man. Thanks for giving me my biggest laugh of the day.

  • avatar
    Ciriya.com

    Ford is getting GM disease when it comes to pushing stupid marketing on Gen Y, of which I am one. Urban hipsterites are a freaking dead end. How about suburban youth who have graduated college, maybe loved a chintzy old hot hatch as high schoolers, and want something that recreates the fun they had with their old Festiva but in brand new, high tech form? Show someone revving the piss out of it over some quasi rural suburban twisty road in SoCal.

    Or give up, and start selling cheapie versions of your volume cars with big engine options a la Chrysler. Or build more of what gen Y ACTUALLY buys: Mustangs, trucks and Focii.

    • 0 avatar
      Onus

      I think what use Gen Yers need is a Brand like Dacia for America. You know something we can actually afford. Something that we don’t feel like we took all the worst parts from gm’s parts bin.

      But, i love Focii, trucks, and Mustangs. Mostly trucks.

      Oh the joy of driving a 349,000 mile northeast rusty 23 old pickup. Can’t beat it.

      To add to that. An avenger or 200 used with the pentastar is a steal for use gen y’ers.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        “An avenger or 200 used with the pentastar is a steal for use gen y’ers.”

        Agreed. Suggested it to my 28yo bro, but he wasn’t comfortable with the whole “Chrysler” stigma attached to it. Our parents on new vans and myself (used K car) got burned by Chrysler in the 90s.

  • avatar
    mcarr

    As an IT guy that worked closely with a marketing dept, I can tell you the way those types measure success is far different from how I (a presumably normal person) would.

    Speaking of “impressions”, I remember they had this metric where XXX,XXX,XXX number of impressions equaled ONE sale, so they’re big focus was, you guessed it, to jack up the number of impressions.


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