Showing posts with label Lifestyle. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lifestyle. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

If You're Going to get Caught, It's Best to have a BMW

It helps to have a new 3-Series after getting caught doing a little backside slap in the rear... camera.  No car I owned during high school had a Roundel or a backup camera so I was pretty safe from getting caught making obscene gestures as I returned to the driver's side of my 1978 baby-shit brown Ford Granada. 
Here BMW has a little fun with technology and youth.  
It's a simple idea of connecting something we all have experienced, the excitement and possibility of scoring when on a prom date. Of course, the target BMW 3-Series customer isn't likely attending a prom, other than as a chaperone, but who cares. What matters is we can all relate and appreciate the ridiculous situations technology now puts us in.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Facebook and the Death of Micro-Site

There is a move in digital marketing to replace the micro-site with a Facebook fan page. The latest casualty is the Nissan Master the Shift lifestyle marketing campaign.

Those of you who have followed my blog for a while know this campaign since I previously covered it. It has been around for over 2 years. Nissan has done a great job with the email marketing efforts for the campaign where they are constantly giving away free sports related equipment to contest entrants. Regular email communications are sent as new content is added and contest prizes are released.

Basically, the program is a lifestyle marketing effort linking the passions of running, cycling, and yoga featuring three key personalities: Lance Armstrong, Ryan Hall, and Tara Stiles. The experience includes several videos showcasing different exercise and training tips while also promoting Nissan vehicles, the Nissan Altima was the lead vehicle for two years but now it’s been replaced by the Nissan LEAF.

This year Nissan shifted (pun intended) their micro-site to Facebook where all of the prior website’s content went into various Facebook tabs. This worked pretty well for the athlete content as each person has their own tab and video views seem decent; though, it’s tough to truly gauge as I’m not sure how much advertising was done to drive people to the Facebook page. Also, is some video views were probably done through YouTube and Google search, not all entirely through the Facebook experience.

One wonders though if the move to a Facebook fan page is a better, more effective, decision than keeping the micro-site.

The most significant issue I can see from the Nissan Master the Shift change is how buried the vehicle content is now. One can only get to the vehicle information using the Favorite Pages section of the Facebook fan page. The vehicle content really gets lost in the new experience, but this may be a result of the campaign’s goals having to do more with contest entries (the entry form is the first thing that shows up when one clicks an ad) and driving people to the unique content created for each of the athletes tend to be more primary objectives.

Another concern with moving to Facebook is that the user now has several interruptions that never existed with a micro-site. For instance, if a friend on Facebook initiates a chat, Nissan could lose that person’s attention. Also, any status update or new message information while on Facebook could further distract the visitor. There is of course just the fact that one is on Facebook and may simply and easily return to their Facebook news feed. The usability, call-to-action person in me questions how so many other clicks can interrupt the experience and thus lose the person Nissan is trying to reach.

The whole change from micro-site to Facebook fan page is an experiment. I would love to see how well the change is for Nissan, but without any primary data analytics it’s difficult to assess the strategic decision, but it’s an easy realization for the Nissan team as they can see if their content is getting a higher engagement rate by moving to Facebook.

Nissan is also launching an 18 stop event marketing campaign, as detailed here (though the story incorrectly says the Master the Shift campaign "began in April.") Getting out to events is a great way to reach this target consumer. It also provides another way, besides banner ads, to get the word about Nissan's working with these athletes and an additional way to promote their Facebook fan page.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo a Comfortable Fit for the Neiman Marcus MILF

In case you do not know, the new BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo isn’t for the M3 racer type. It’s not even promoted as a high-performance car. No the marketing for the 5 Series GT is all about style, fashion, practicality and the Nomadic life. This is an effort to reach the professional female consumer, one with a significant emphasis on style and beauty or as I prefer to call the demographic – “The Nieman Marcus MILF”.

To appeal to this demographic, BMW North America has created three lifestyle videos featuring Catherine Malandrino. Since I’m not exactly the target consumer, I had to do a bit of research to figure out who Malandrino is. She owns several New York City clothing boutiques. Her clothing line is also appropriately for sale at Nieman Marcus and Saks too. She is a French designer who probably has significant appeal for the high-end female consumer BMW is trying to appeal too.

I was impressed when going to Catherine Malandrino’s fashion website that she has a link to the BMW 5 Series GT site. A very nice, simple integration that is often missed when efforts like these happen.

One common approach car companies use to match their online efforts with the consumer is a “day in the life” video. The 5 Series GT site is no exception. It shows Catherine getting her morning coffee, talking about her busy life as a mother and a fashion designer. So if you have a morning photo shoot with your professional photographer after stopping at Starbucks, this is the ride for you. Of course it really isn’t fair mocking these videos, all of them are quite humorous because they typical ooze pretentious behavior and really how many women out there live Catherine’s life? This is marketing so it really is more about perceiving yourself as a Catherine Malandrino.

The videos are nicely shot and bring in images of the 5 Series in a way that is tasteful and purposeful. The more involved product content is in the Space, Form, Function and Motion site areas. Each section features some beautifully shot, large video content that displays the luxury of the crossover. The product videos also have some nice chaptering where users can jump to desired product information without having to watch the full video.

I also really liked the full-size window icons where product images can be viewed in more detail. Hopefully, most users will know to click the window size icon on the product detail screens, if they do they are in for a treat. The photography is elegant and really shows off the beauty of the car.

Beauty of the car? The 5 Series GT hasn’t received the most flattering of coverage from the automotive press while BMW fans are a bit less harsh. I was just recently at a BMW Car Club Christmas party where this vehicle was featured. A lot of negative comments were heard especially about the exterior and BMW losing some of its brand identity with products like this. It is definitely a move a way from the brand’s performance heritage.

The interior is where the car is a work of art. The interior seats, dash, materials and space are impressive. It really is quite beautiful from the inside.

Where the site is confusing is in the “History of the Gran Turismo” section. Why this crossover is even called a GT is odd, even offensive to auto enthusiasts. In the 1950 page of the Gran Turismo history the copy reads, “a two-seater that can go great distances, take sport-car turns, and store luggage for a weekend getaway.” Then we get the connection of the 5 Series GT to this heritage. “A high-performance answer to the open road.”

This is an extension of Gran Turismo touring history? It’s not about weekend getaways, it’s about piling in your kids, turning on the DVD system, and heading to Mall of America. There is no sense of freedom and adventure. The 5 Series GT is not the answer to enjoying winding roads and the freedom of two people enjoying a quiet weekend at beach cottage in Santa Barbara. I suppose someone had to justify the name so this section was created to appeal to the product naming consultant who does know what Gran Turismo means, just that it sounds cool and sporty.

Also there is an odd site behavior when someone clicks on the News Feed link. This brings viewers to BMW’s News Feed page, which takes people away from the launch site experience to what looks like a Public Relations release. It removes the 5 Series GT navigation which is very confusing and probably leads to a higher abandonment rate from the site. The same happens with the Sign up for updates link, you leave the launch site experience.

Gran Turismo naming abuse and some poor site navigation decisions aside, the 5 Series GT site does have some beautiful content showcasing a rather controversial product for BMW. The good news is the website left me with a more positive impression of the vehicle, much like when I saw the 5 Series GT in person. What’s more important than my feeling better about it: Does it appeal to professional fashionista women who are the target consumer? It probably does as I really felt the site was what I'd expect from a Mercedes-Benz launch site appealing to their typical consumer, the Neiman Marcus MILF.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Toyota Believes the Smart Money is on Venza

Contextual integration is a great way to increase interest in your brand especially when your audience is not in-market for a new car, which let's be honest is just about everybody these days. Toyota realizes this as it is in the midst of launching the new Toyota Venza in a falling market.

So, how do you get people to see your product in a positive financial light?

You link up with Smart Money. Toyota is running online media under the tag line "Planning for Life 2.0" which is a nod that life is changing, at least our financial life after losing half of our retirement, worrying about job loss, or going through foreclosure. Of course, the media is a bit more positive than I am.

The execution looks at saving people money in how they plan their financial decisions, perhaps Toyota is hoping some better financial decisions about my home or my retirement might improve my situation and free up some money to buy a new SUV.

There of course is no financial advice when it comes to your automotive purchase, since buying a $30k plus car isn't the best financial decision when you may or may not have a job next month. And Toyota has yet to follow some of its competitors with a Hyundai Assurance like promotion.

Regardless of the financial decision benefits, it's about getting in people's natural path and people are very interested in better financial decisions.