The "Slow Reveals" Need To Stop

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
the slow reveals need to stop

As a “glass-half-empty” kind of guy, I would need a minute to think about the most fascinating story I’ve ever written, but could easily tell you about the most infuriating. That dubious honor goes to the Facebook launch campaign for the 2012 Ford Explorer.

Starting in June of 2010, Ford released a series of “teaser images” of wilderness or other scenes with an Explorer barely visible. The process went on for roughly a month, and I was responsible for writing blog posts about the new images, which proved to be trying. By the time the 2012 Explorer launched, I was sick of hearing about it, and didn’t care whatsoever about any of the new technologies or improvements.

The Explorer is far from the only car to get this treatment; most notably, the Chevrolet Camaro and Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ underwent this excruciatingly uninteresting method of endless concept cars and leaked details. Other vehicles, like the Dodge Dart get social media soft launches where little teaser photographs are dribbled out bit by bit.

The car companies feel that this builds buzz for the “brand”, but most importantly, it’s great for the auto bloggers. Every new photo or piece of information can generate a new post, which can generate an all-important “click” (see also: Top 10 lists, slideshows, reporting on social unrest and natural disasters). 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. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have a new Ferrari teaser photo to write about.

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  • WRohrl WRohrl on Feb 24, 2012

    No, no, no, Derek, in my opinion the most infuriating story you ever wrote were the total of 13 words on the California gas prices topping $5 (including the headline in that word count).... :-) Jim

    • MrGreenMan MrGreenMan on Feb 24, 2012

      That story was a great day for reading comprehension among the commentariate. We learned that the phrase "Crest above $5/gal" was open to criticism for cherry picking the highest value instead of the average for the "crest", or highest, value. I hear an H3 fuel economy can crest at 25 mpg when oriented downhill on a mountain running at idle operating only under downward pull of gravity.

  • Obbop Obbop on Feb 25, 2012

    "superficial content" That describes my blogs. Ryoku75: "Slow reveals are nothing new" The gals at the blue-collar, social club/beer drinking/pool-playing place had one or two skimpy bikini-clad young cuties (legal age) who, at times, removed their top (legally) when they felt like it but was done in a friendly way and all within were jovial and I never witnessed hostility or bad behavior and the gals always were respected and actually most within did not devote much attention to the gal's presence. The place was so "all-American" Bruce Springsteen or John Cougar/Mellencamp could have written a song about the place. Located in what some would have labeled the "bad part" of town it was, in actuality, the blue-collar light industrial area where I felt safer than many parts of town. And semi-rusted out but still well-running Chevy and Ford pick-ups and Harley "scooters" were common parked out front, along with the occasional "bob tail" semi. Alas, that bar-type has become increasingly rare as the factories have been abandoned and the front gates locked with chain and padlock with a weathered "for sale" sale sign and a large asphalt parking lot with a bounty of weeds growing through the cracks. Common across the "rust belt." It was a sad sight that became increasingly common as I shifted through ten gears and passed what was so often the outer edges of mid-sized and smaller towns in too many states. And when those arterial non-Interstate roads did not bypass the burghs, running instead through the town I often saw the local effects of the plant's closure in the too-many empty store fronts, lack of local activity and "for sale" signs on houses. Sigh......................

    • Ryoku75 Ryoku75 on Feb 25, 2012

      I've taken strolls through areas with plenty of "For Sale" signs on the buildings myself, it is a bit depressing to look around and think "Dang, this place really used to be something". Sad thing is instead of fine women, more men are into "un-boxing videos", a youtube phenomenon where someone slowly opens up whatever the latest game is.

  • Probert There's something wrong with that chart. The 9 month numbers for Tesla, in the chart, are closer to Tesla's Q3 numbers. They delivered 343,830 cars in q3 and YoY it is a 40% increase. They sold 363,830 but deliveries were slowed at the end of the quarter - no cars in inventory. For the past 9 months the total sold is 929,910 . So very good performance considering a major shutdown for about a month in China (Covid, factory revamp). Not sure if the chart is also inaccurate for other makers.
  • ToolGuy "...overall length grew only fractionally, from 187.6” in 1994 to 198.7” in 1995."Something very wrong with that sentence. I believe you just overstated the length by 11 inches.
  • ToolGuy There is no level of markup on the Jeep Wrangler which would not be justified or would make it any less desirable [perfectly inelastic demand, i.e., 'I want one']. Source: My 21-year-old daughter.
  • ToolGuy Strong performance from Fiat.
  • Inside Looking Out GM is like America, it does the right thing only after trying everything else.  As General Motors goes, so goes America.
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