Car marketing firms "like ADD ferrets on amphetamines"

Whether encountered via television, print, radio, Internet or billboards, it's hard to escape automotive advertising. Because they're so omnipresent, most people tend to 'tune out,' so automakers have turned to slogans to and catchphrases to stay in consumer's minds, with the inevitable varying degrees of success.

All of which makes the frequency with which they alter their slogans a bit hard to figure. In fact, things have gotten so schizophrenic that Paul Ballew, executive director of global market and industry analysis for General Motors recently told Advertising Age that "We're like ADD ferrets on amphetamines." Lovely picture, that.

Regardless, Ballew has a point. By AA's tally, Buick has had five taglines since 2000, and Saturn and Pontiac have had four a piece. By comparison, brands with decidedly clearer identities would appear to be keeping their slogans longer: BMW's 'The Ultimate Driving Machine' mantra has carried the company through the 1980s and four agencies. Mazda has 'Zoom Zoom'd for going on five years now. Hummer has had one slogan since its birth in 2001, "Like No Other," and GM's resurgent Cadillac has held fast to the Led Zeppelin-influenced "Break Through" since early 2002. Of course, GMC's "Professional Grade" campaign has been around since late 2000, and assessing that nameplate's success is problematic. Still, the correlation bears further study.

So... how do you feel about automotive taglines and slogans... do any ring particularly true or false for you as a consumer? Do you heed them at all? Mint your own catchphrase in 'Comments.'

[Sources: Advertising Age;]

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