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In the ongoing battle for street cred among younger buyers, Detroit continues to turn to its gritty urban landscapes for marketing inspiration.

DaimlerChrysler's connection with the hip-hop world has been well-documented, resulting in everything from Snoop Dogg swingin' clubs with Lee Iacocca to 50-Cent jumping the line on the Charger. Other companies have been quick to follow suit, General Motors tapping Ludacris to pitch the Solstice, and with the Blue Oval set to trot out Kanye West to promote the Lincoln's Zephyr in the rapper's unfortunately-named new video, 'Drive Slow' (what rhymes with MKZ, Kanye?).

The marketing shift is being viewed as part of a larger phenomenon, wherein companies are seeking out niche groups instead of putting out mass-market product message-- a development that mimics the auto industry's changing production models.

[Source: The Detroit News]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      What's your point.... Honda is doing the same thing with the Performance Tuner market.

      How many hybrids are going to be "drifting" in the next Fast & Furious.

      Just like everybody else, they're taking advantage of long time, established trend.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thats a good idea especially IF ITS NOT OVERDONE, considering the fact that games like Need for speed, and magazines like DUB and Modified are really popular with youth.

      Most young people like the idea of fancy rims and a nice sound system. Just about everbody has gotten irritably sick of the idea that every single teen listens to rap music and likes to have their car overpainted and overbranded (aka stickers all over your car).

      Also, not all young drivers want to buy a 4 or 6 cylinder pocket rocket from japan. I myself am a fan of the new eclipse because it looks outstanding in real life and has reasonably good power, the rsx because its from a luxury car brand and also looks good, and the Ford Mustang simply because its affordable american power.

      I am fifteen years old and nobody I know would consider buying a chevrolet cobalt ONLY because Ludacris or Kanye advertised one. However if I saw them advertising a new car it might make me look into it a little. Celebs advertsing cars doesnt make them sell just like that. And most people that buy cars at a young age listen to rock music and have nice parents.

      By the way, Chevy and Dodge (not ford, you made me a mustang) if youre listening, please make an affordable, powerful car that doesn look japanese (cobalt...) PLEASE.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Is Kanye West a good spokesperson? I don't think I'd want him to advertise my product, and I certainly wouldn't buy anything he's selling.
      • 9 Years Ago
      One of the reasons Mistsu got itself in financial trouble was because it made a major pitch to "hip" youth. Remember those toe-tapping ads that seemed to focus more on the kids grooving in the car than the car itself?

      Well they sold those cars to the target audience like crazy. A short time later Mistsu had the highest loan default record of any mfgr and these same products bought by the intended target were to blame. They stopped the ads shortly before DC said no more money.

      Now Detroit wants to forget the lesson learned and do it again...with more expensive iron. There are not enough NBA and NFL players that will respond to these ads to keep the marks afloat...and guess what, the people with the money and looking at these vehicles will stay away in droves because they do not want the association. Hello, McFly... It's almost laughable. Just when I think Detroit cannot make another insane decision...they do.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Looking at the automotive retail market, the mfg's have to be versatile to all. Whether it be white walls, to some extra chrome trim,to just a plain jane appearance...what ever you want to call it, urban whatever....thats fine...its just strategic marketing,,,what many people dont understand is that the auto dealer will not have the car on their lot like that...they will sell the vehicle however equipped and then have an outside company do the conversion!!!
      Its simple marketing...whether it works or not,,,its worth a shot?
      • 9 Years Ago
      Detroit IS bling!

      Ever since the Y-Job, Detroit created bling concept and production cars. Look at the futurama concepts, or the tailfins from the '59 Eldo or the chrome waterfall grilles of the 60s.

      Why do you think "urban types" have long flocked to Detroit Iron for customizing... why else is the 66 Impala one of the coolest cars in rap history?

      Its a circle, coming complete finally.

      And Kanye's song, is about one of the most Detroit elements of car culture: The Cruise. Woodward, Ocean, Rodeo... driving slow in a shiny ride is as important as the 1/4 mile drag.
      • 9 Years Ago
      It's hilarious that any post about anything remotely "urban" brings out the racists. Frankly urban is just the opposite of country. Sucky artistes and sucky supporters on both sides.
      Open your eyes; Hip Hop would not be dominating your country's charts if it weren't for millions of suburban white kids trying to be cool.
      It's just like rock and roll back in the day. Rebellious kids' tastes in music, clothes and behaviour aggravating the prior generation. The same ingrained racists who revere rock n roll just can't accept that black people are the ones providing the soundtrack to this generations coming of age.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I fully approve of marketing via hip-hop, rap, boiz in da hood, and other links of cars with various degenerates.

      It makes it easy for me to identify car brands I should never own.

      And, by the way, this isn't racist because I would consider buying a car linked to, say, Shelby Steele.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I thought part of the point of reviewing a car was so that the automakers could get an unbiased look at the car and massage out any flaws in production, so that we could all have the nice well-built car, or at least one capable of 4 wheel alignment.