34 Articles
Marketing: See a Puppet, Buy a Car.

OMG: What Marketers Want from us in their social media campaigns.

Watch the puppet. Like me. Buy the car. That is what some may think Ford wants us to do as a result of its latest social media campaign. And truth be told, that is just what the company is trying to do.

How Chevy "Stole" Chrysler's, VW's Super Bowl Hype

Super Bowl Post Mortem Shows Who Really Won

The big game has been over for almost two weeks and many have already forgotten who the VIP of the game was. Most viewers probably can't recall more than two or three of the ads. This stands in marked contrast to the Monday after, when there were tweets, articles, surveys and blogs declaring winners in all categories.

Do Auto Shows Really Matter?

Do Consumers Really Matter When Concepts Are Unveiled?

Do you ever notice that each year there is a ton of news and excitement about the new season of auto shows? Well, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, anyway. The Los Angeles show comes before that one and doesn't come close to creating the excitement that the entertainment capital of the world is usually known for. Then comes Detroit, beautiful Detroit in January, but it always steals the auto show scene, leaving Chicago in February and then New York in April in its dust.

Superbowl 2011: The Year of the Car

Grading The Ads

At least from my perspective, this year's Super Bowl ads made automakers look good, for the most part. And at $3 million per 30-second spot, they really ought to.

Top Auto Ads of 2010

Better TV Commercials Than Last Year

Ace Metrix, a television advertising analytics provider, recently announced its Ace Score Top Television Ads for 2010 in several categories, including automotive. Its list was dominated by luxury car brands, with Mercedes-Benz placing three ads in the list. The big winner, however, was Nissan, taking the first and sixth spots, while its luxury brand, Infiniti, took the second.

This Year's Super Bowl Traffic Jam

More Carmakers Hoping to Make Their Mark

The big game is a week away and anticipation for the ads is running high. The Super Bowl has become one of the nation's favorite events – not just because we love the game of football but because of what the creative geniuses come up with to keep us entertained between plays.

2011: The Year of the Baby Boomer

Will More Carmakers Court The 65-Plus Crowd?

Baby Boomers are defined as those people born between 1946 and 1964, a demographic that's roughly 77 million strong. According to the latest Census, starting on 1/1/11, 7,200 people will turn 65 years old, every single day.

Toyota Gives Customers $500 During Its Tweetathon

Even In Social Media, It's All About The Message

Toyota has taken to Twitter to promote its latest end-of-year sale, offering its customers the potential to get five hundred bucks, just for tweeting this: "If I get my new Toyota during Toyotathon they'll give me $500 just for this Tweet. http://buyatoyota.com @Toyota #shareathon."

Can Auto Safety Ads Go Too Far?

New Public Service Announcement Tries Different Tactic

In 2007, there were 10.6 million automobile accidents in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. "Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash" according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC also states that among teen drivers, those at especially high risk for motor vehicle crashes are: 1. Males: In 2006, the moto

Chevys New Slogan "Runs Deep"

But Is GM Marketing Running Backwards?

Chevy’s former ad agency of 91 years, Campbell-Ewald, was summarily dismissed a couple of months ago when GM’s new marketing chief, Joel Ewanick, appeared on the scene. He replaced them with his agency of choice, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, who had performed well for him when he was at Hyundai. The move caused a shock wave in the marketing world and around Detroit, but Goodby certa

Subaru Embraces "Mediocrity"

Advertising Tweaks The Competition, But Will It Resonate?

Subaru has long cultivated its reputation as a brand for nonconformists. Its cars, with their all-wheel-drive systems and boxer engines, have always set the brand outside the technological mainstream, just as its marketing has often spoken to a devoted owner base at the niche level. But its latest campaign, called, "Mediocrity," stokes the brand's rebellious image with a scathing and sarcast

Is Ford Really Going To Cut Its Product Line-Up?

Wait, It Already Has?

Ford CEO Alan Mullaly recently announced that his company was going to dramatically reduce its product line-up. Bloomberg reported the following: “’There will be less than 30, on our way to 20 to 25,’ Mulally said in response to questions on the future lineup of ‘nameplates’ or models after addressing the Confederation of British Industry in London today. ‘Fewer

The Heineken Factor

Are Domestic Luxury Brands Doomed To Budweiser Status?

This Bud's for you ... and you and you and you. On Wednesday, September 29, Budweiser hosted a "National Happy Hour," in a quest to gain market share that import brands like Heineken have been steadily stealing over the past few years. The slightly more refined, upscale imports and craft beers remind me of what has happened to the U.S. auto luxury market. I think there is a stigma rela

Selling Bentleys: Not As Simple As Youd Think

A new Bentley Continental GT was unveiled this week -- online, an unconventional method, at least for Bentley. You’d think that selling a 6-liter, 567-hp, twin-turbocharged, 12-cylinder car with elegant curves and a handcrafted luxurious leather interior would be easy. Bentley’s recent sales numbers for its “volume” car, the Continental GT, would be the proof. But this wasn

Exploring Viral Car Launches

Or: How Ford Plans To Make Its New SUV A Hit

The Lingerie Bowl, billboards in Time Square, USA Today full-size ads, full color launch inserts, building wraps, Aerosmith concerts, Super Bowl spots, and on and on. These are the trademarks of the traditional auto launch, at least they were 10 years ago. But things have changed, a lot. I was in Detroit last week talking with some old friends and one of the topics was the 2011 Ford Explorer launc

Dodge Removes Ape From Ad After Controversy

PETA Complains Over Great Ape In Sale Ad

Rodeos, Bull riding, National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), ads with animals...you name it and I have likely run into the issues that come with participating and sponsoring those events. When I was responsible for the marketing communications efforts at Dodge, Jeep and Chrysler, I ran into the obstacles and political entanglements that are unavoidable in those situations. So, why do it,

How Companies Get Us Excited About Their Cars

Old Dogs, New Tricks

How would you like to build your own Corvette engine, at the plant? Or maybe you'd like to badge your Subaru the way a Girl Scout might adorn her uniform? Or maybe you'd like to play a version of the old classic “Slug Bug”? These are some of the latest tactics employed by some “old” automotive brands to win the attention of new customers. Let’s start with what could b

Why Car Makers Love Inflatable Gorillas And Helium Balloons

Do End Of Season Sales Really Work?

August marks the time of year that we see the worst the auto industry has to offer in terms of advertising. Summer to auto advertisers is kind of like summer TV programming is to the networks. Programs that run in the summer are usually forgettable, as networks roll out a long succession of reruns and a few pilots that are under consideration for the regular season but just as many that have no ch

Nissan Touts Apple Marketing Deal, But Who's Calling The Shots on Leaf?

The first all electric production car uses the iphone to advertise itself

The electric Nissan Leaf won't go on sale until later this year, and it won't be available nationwide for another year after that, yet it's already a widely anticipated new model. Nissan is drumming up business early, claiming 15,000 reservations already. While the Leaf itself is interesting enough, I'm most curious about a unique marketing effort using the Apple iPhone. In

What Really Went Wrong With Mercury

"If you have a Tracer on that wholesale sheet, you can just turn around now." That was the warm welcome of a Lincoln-Mercury dealer back in the ’90s when I came in for my monthly sales meeting. I was a zone manager for Lincoln-Mercury, and that Tracer he was referring to was the rebadged Ford Escort. My "zone" was San Diego County and Orange County, California -- a great market if you love b

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