Readers of our departed EIC’s chronicles will no doubt understand that building a luxury brand is a gradual, concentrated effort that won’t bear fruit for many years. Over at Audi, it took Herr Schmitt and Herr Piech the better part of two decades to morph Audi from an oddball line of tarted up Volkswagens into a global luxury player, and that journey was not without its own mishaps.
There’s nothing the internet loves more than some good clickbait, and the hype surrounding Dodge’s ads featuring Ron Burgundy, star of the Anchorman movies, and the Durango CUV, are perfect fodder for this type of content. Web publications like Mashable, along with numerous auto blogs, have run articles cliaming that the Anchorman-themed ads have caused Durango sales to “skyrocket”. But as Tim Cain shows us, correlation does not necessarily equal causation. Durango sales have been on the rise for some time now. But never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
In a rather promotional feeling interview with Bloomberg, comedian and noted car collector Jerry Seinfeld discusses his growing relationship with Honda Motor’s Acura brand. Last year’s Super Bowl featured an ad for the upcoming revival of the NSX sports car scripted by Seinfeld himself, with a cameo from Jay Leno, riffing off of the two comics’ reputation as serious collectors. More recently Acura has become the sole sponsor of Seinfelds popular “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” webcasts. Jerry told the news agency that in general he’s not a fan of car advertising.
I still remember the day my parents bought me a copy of the iconic Justification for Higher Education poster. I had been nagging them for a while, and when I finally got the poster, it took immediate pride of place in my childhood bedroom. Having matured, I recognize now that the imagery depicts a lifestyle unlikely to be the preserve of the highly educated, but instead that of a lottery winner. Didn’t matter then, and it doesn’t matter today; the now ratty old poster followed me to college and again to my grown-up domicile.
Peter DeLorenzo is one of my favorite automotive writers. After decades working in automotive advertising and writing about cars and the auto industry, along with deep family ties to General Motors upper echelon, Peter brings the right combination of knowledge and cynicism to the topic we love. Also, contrary to his gruff and curmudgeonly public persona, he’s been very gracious to this neophyte writer. I start looking for his regular Wednesday updates on his Autoextremist site on Monday nights, since he sometimes posts ahead of schedule. This week, Peter takes Cadillac and Interpublic Agency – Team Rogue, to task for how they are repositioning the Cadillac brand, moving away from what had been a return to “The Standard of the World” mentality to one more in tune, according to Ad Age, with “Work hard. Be lucky”, making the brand seem more-accessible. Peter sees that slogan and accessibility as at odds with making Cadillac a “desirable” brand. With all due respect, I think DeLorenzo is getting this half right. (Read More…)
In a push to get younger consumers into dealerships, Lincoln has undertaken a crash rebranding program. Ford is pushing dealers to upgrade facilities, as well as retraining sales staff in the lingo of “progressive luxury.” Chic furniture and flatscreens are some of the stereotypical dealership improvements that Lincoln hopes to persuade dealers to implement. But there’s one initiative that’s certainly out of the ordinary: the creation of a Lincoln-specific scent, to be wafted through dealerships.
Though there were some critics who mocked their first go round with marketing cars through social media, Ford is apparently happy enough with the results of the 2009 Fiesta Movement that they’re bringing back the Fiesta Movement to help launch the newly refreshed 2014 Fiesta. This time they’re making the campaign even more focused (no pun intended) on using online communities, calling it the Fiesta Movement: A Social Remix.
The Smart ForJeremy concept, a collaboration between Smart and haute couture designer Jeremy Scott, is going into production and is set to go on sale in Q4 of this year.
When the NSX was last available for sale, the rest of the world knew it as a Honda product. But now that the next-generation NSX is intended to be a flagship for the Acura brand, Honda has run into a small problem – Acura doesn’t exist in much of the world.
I do a lot of traveling (to such exotic places as Kershaw, South Carolina and South Haven, Michigan) in my travels with the 24 Hours of LeMons, which means I have plenty of dead time in airports to contemplate puzzling car ads. The Economist is the best possible magazine to have on hand when you get hit by a six-hour weather delay at George Bush International, because of its incredible bang-for-buck density. It’s clear that marketing flacks take the Economist‘s word for it when they talk about readership demographics, because the split between self-proclaimed readership (powerful and influential globe-trotting executives) and actual readership (geeked-out history/politics junkies with unkempt beards and Dead Kennedys T-shirts) makes for some entertaining car advertisements. Here’s one for the ’13 Lincoln MKZ, which attempts to woo the 72-year-old owner of a 6-store dry-cleaning chain into feeling that the purchase of an MKZ will transform him into a focus-group-perfect 42-year-old entrepreneur. Let’s take a closer look at what Lincoln’s marketers picture as the idealized MKZ buyer. (Read More…)
GM will resume advertising on Facebook, nearly a year after it ceased running ads on the social network.
When I was in the automotive propaganda business, one of the most horrifying experiences were changes on the top. CEOs could come and go without drama. Changing marketing managers meant serious trouble. It’s a bit like Indian widow-burning: He goes, you go up in flames. When Joel Ewanick came to GM, he had his old buddies Goodby, Silverstein in tow. When Joel left, the funeral pyre was assembled for Goodby.
Here come the matches. (Read More…)
PSA announced their renewed brand strategy for their Peugeot and Citroen lines, and the situation has finally been clarified after frequent back and forth reports that contradicted one another. It turns out that PSA will employ a three-tier approach that is equally confusing, with Citroen as the lowest tier with Peugeot on top. But then there’s also Citroen’s DS line, which is supposed to be upscale itself. Confused? So are we.
Today, ad agencies all over the country crunch numbers to prove to their clients that the outrageous amounts of money spent for production and media buys of Sunday’s Super Bowl ads were well spent. Too bad their clients already saw on TTAC which ads were shooting stars, and which were duds. Oh, and Mercedes did not run the car wash ad. They had something more devilish in store.
No doubt each agency will find the most fitting metric to prove that their ad was great. Edmunds has a handy and free metric that shows how well an ad resonates. They call it the “lift.” Edmunds watches your clicks as they are driven to the respective cars on the Edmunds website. It’s a seismograph for the impact an ad has. If the clicks signal a lot of lift, the ad works, as far as Edmunds is concerned. If the needle stays flat, that ad is a dud. Here is the play-by-play. (Read More…)
Our Managing Editor is losing sleep over the imminent collapse of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz brand images due to their upcoming sub-$30,000 models. When you are finished with your 27th viewing of Benz’s sneak peek at their Super Bowl ad above, let’s discuss. (Read More…)