I am an optimist by nature. One must be, in order to be a lifelong Chicago sports fan — otherwise, the crushing realization that decades of failure are likely to be followed by a future that consists of more of the same might cause a person to take a one-way stroll into Lake Michigan.
I am trying to retain that optimism even as more and more evidence, both empirical and anecdotal, emerges that social media has warped humanity’s brains beyond recognition. I try to see some value in it — surely your second cousin twice removed would be unaware of your recent Jamaican vacation and how much fun you had YOLO’ing if you didn’t have a Facebook account, right?
Surely your 10 Twitter followers must know your thoughts on how to solve the morass in Ukraine, because you have figured out something that world leaders haven’t, and the world just has to know.
On the same day that it encouraged fans to follow it on Instagram for sexy Bronco teasing, Ford Motor Company announced it will pull advertising from all social media platforms for a period of 30 days.
As you read here roughly nine minutes ago, Ford’s move comes after Honda did exactly the same. The automakers, among a number of other companies, aim to pressure big social media companies to root out and erase or ban hate speech — which can be a very nebulous term, depending on who’s using it.
There’s no shortage of distractions coming out of Tesla to take the focus away from a smoldering legal battle between the automaker and its favorite foe, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
The SEC, however, isn’t easily led astray by retail store turmoil and the promise of a crossover with no home. The regulator has stepped up its efforts to see Tesla CEO Elon Musk held in contempt of court for violating an earlier settlement agreement. At the root of the two contempt orders, the latest filed on Monday, is the source of all evil in today’s world: social media.
While I throughly enjoy motorsport, my NASCAR fandom has dwindled over the years. It’s not a frequency I’m perpetually tuned into anymore, but I revisit the series regularly to keep tabs on what’s happening. However, when I put on Sunday’s race, I noticed something different about the cars. Jimmie Johnson’s Chevrolet had a picture of his own face on the side, as did Martin Truex Jr.’s Toyota. What the hell was going on?
A few minutes of investigation later, I learned that NASCAR had decided to slap emoji’s on the side of every important vehicle to celebrate the 2018 NASCAR Playoffs. Monster Energy Cup Series race teams have each unveiled customized hashtags and emojis for all 16 of the competing drivers in collaboration with the Race Team Alliance and Twitter. And it’s probably my least favorite marketing gimmick in motorsport’s history.
Late last year, I selected Jeep’s JL Wrangler as an Ace of Base once pricing for the snazzy new off-road rig was freshly announced.
That was 43 days ago, at which point I theorized that Wrangler shoppers would likely need to be weary of dealer bait-and-switch tactics, as both the new JL and the old JK are 2018 models. Specifically, I said:
Readers can be assured, then, of hearing hyper-caffeinated sales staff blaring in radio ads about ZOMG GREAT DEALZ ON 2018 WRANGLERS – only for frustrated shoppers to discover they are actually talking about the lame-duck Jeep and not the shiny new off-roader.
Well, that didn’t take long.
The internet is a black hole filled with an endless stream of stupid thoughts and bad ideas. While it’s usually best to ignore it, every so often something breaks through the obnoxious drone of social media that is so egregious, you couldn’t possibly turn a blind eye if you wanted to.
We are obligated to present to you a recent tweet from Vahid Kazemi, a software engineer for Google’s self-driving arm Waymo, and describe how it made us feel.
The internet is infamous for suspect news stories and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to separate reputable information from propaganda, lies, and sensationalist garbage. Credible outlets take heat as #FakeNews while less stringent journalism continues to gain traction. The automotive industry is no different, especially when it comes to online marketing.
We’ve all been cruising the internet mindlessly and seen a suspicious headline for a new car paired with a blatantly fake image. I remember seeing photoshopped fifth generation Camaros purported to be “The Next Firebird” routinely for about a year before Pontiac finally passed away in 2010. While I knew it was bunk, I clicked anyway and compounded the problem. Sadly, things have not improved in the last few years.
Dealers and manufacturers are trying to figure out a way to ensure their products are better represented in the digital landscape — but they are struggling.
There are certain inescapable truths in this world: bacon is delicious, man buns should be outlawed, and car dealerships endure a reputation of being a refuge for the ethically bankrupt.
I — like many others around here — am no stranger to witnessing the unscrupulous debauchery occurring on some showroom floors. However, there are exceptions to every rule, and a fledgling dealer in small-market rural Canada puts the lie to the claim that backwards thinking is a trait of all car dealerships. There are bright spots out there, as proven by the team at Truro Nissan.
The trial has all the ingredients needed to garner a nation’s attention: a young female driver, a speeding Mercedes, a dark, rain-slicked highway, a carelessly wielded phone, a potentially dangerous social media app, and a hard-working man left permanently disabled.
The lawsuit against Snapchat and motorist Christal McGee by Wentworth Maynard, the driver of the Mitsubishi Outlander rear-ended by McGee’s C230 outside of Atlanta last September, alleges the social media app’s speed filter played a role in the collision.
Oops! Have you tried maneuvers like this? #Jeep
One great thing about PR and marketing is that you can often turn a massive fail into a great win — like when a Slovak PR agency for Mercedes-Benz posted a picture of the new CLA Shooting Brake next to a pool.
A random commenter said he’d like them to take the Merc for a swim. Mercedes’ PR agency replied, “If your post gets more than 1,000 likes, you can choose whether we reverse or powerslide the car into the pool.”
Naturally, the post got nearly 2,000 likes within hours. Mercedes responded with a nicely done video of CLA Shooting Brake getting drowned by a Black Stig, promising they would hire their social media manager back if more than 1,000 people shared the video. In the end, Mercedes drew a great deal attention to their new rakish wagon and lost nothing.
Unfortunately for Jeep Czech Republic, sometimes a fail is just a fail — like a few days ago when the official Czech importer of Jeep posted the photo you see above of a Grand Cherokee getting up on two wheels.
If you ever wondered whether you could transport a donkey in the back of a Ford Crown Victoria, the Norman Police Department have your answer.
Norman, Oklahoma police Officer Kyle Canaan happened upon a miniature donkey wandering around the 8100 block of of 120th Avenue NE on the morning of December 1, following up on a report from a woman who called in the sighting, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution says.
Wanting to keep the donkey from being hit by traffic, Canaan used feed to lure the animal off the road, then pushed and pulled the little donkey into the back seat of his P71. As the photo from Norman PD can tell you, animals of the donkey’s size can fit comfortably in the back.
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- InCogKneeToe 2 Words ok 4 from the article “a collision-free society”. There are just billions too many variables for it to ever be possible.Just a couple of weeks ago, a Deer ran into my vehicle, I was stopped at the time, what can "Sensing" do for that? Unless the Deer get Sensors too.And Society as a Whole has suffered from this belief. The belief that Someone or Something should Think for Me, I shouldn't have to. Common Sense is getting rarer and rarer every second the World Spins.
- Sgeffe I’ve got no problems with the HondaSensing kit in my one-generation-wonder 2019 Accord Touring 2.0T. (Although, ironically, the telematics unit won’t receive incoming commands from stuff like the mobile app allowing for remote start and the like. First world problems; working with Honda on a resolution.)Unlike most people who probably aren’t aware of their vehicle’s owner’s manual, however, I don’t expect the technology to be anything more than an ASSIST! The car will watch the distance to the car in front, but if needed, I’m still hovering my foot over the brake if necessary. Even if the BSM light in the mirror isn’t on, I still glance over my shoulder. Et cetera.
- THX1136 Thanks for the explanation, Jeff! Appreciate you taking the time.
- ScarecrowRepair Stick-what? Maybe it needs a laxative.
- FreedMike ...but is the monthly turn signal subscription also going up?