Tag: Markting

By on April 10, 2020

With no reason to risk going outside and industrial news at an all-time low, I’ve retreated into curiously dry hobbies as a way to maintain my sanity.

A substantial portion of my time has been devoted to parsing through old automotive catalogs and marketing materials. As someone who is notoriously difficult to shop for, dusty paperbacks that can easily be found for a nickel at any estate sale turned out to be ideal gifts… and I amassed a sizable collection. Over the weekend, I found myself going through vintage television spots — noticing they’re quite a bit different from the ads we encounter today.

While automotive marketing has evolved through the ages, there was a long stretch of time where companies basically just filmed a car driving around as a disembodied voice explained its strengths. This was back when advertisements featured voice-overs telling you that “Quality is Job 1” at Ford, or a choir of voices joyfully acknowledging that they absolutely loved what Toyota was doing for them.

Today, I’m celebrating the 30th anniversary of a totally mundane promotion from 1990 called “National Cadillac Week.” While the free AVIS rental and cash back on your purchase weren’t unusual (then or now), I happened to encounter it exactly three decades after it originally aired — as if destined by fate. It was a glaring reminder of how much car ads have changed in that time period. (Read More…)

By on February 13, 2011

Ever since Mercedes released its CLK back in 1996, Mercedes has offered one premium coupe slotted between its E and C-Class sedans. Sure, it offered the unloved C-Class Sportcoupe (aka CLC) for a few years in the US as an attempt at an entry-level Mercedes, but nobody really seemed to notice. Otherwise, between there and the none-too-cheap CL, Mercedes offered one coupe, known as the CLK (not counting the CLS “four door coupe”). Now, however, Mercedes has moved in a new direction, offering an “E-Class Coupe” and a “C-Class Coupe,” the latter of which will debut shortly at the Geneva Auto Show. The strange part: they’re both built on the C-Class platform. Mercedes, it seems, has learned an important lesson: when it comes to selling cars, it’s what’s on the outside that counts.

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