Showing posts with label commercial. Show all posts
Showing posts with label commercial. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Scion Gets Its First Halo Car

It is great watching the low-end sports car market heat up. To think one can buy a V6 Mustang, a Hyundai Genesis Coupe and now a Scion FR-S in the mid $20k range and get a lot of performance and fun plus great fuel economy.

FR-S is an acronym for Front-Engine (F) Rear-Wheel Drive (R) Sport (S). It also shares many of its components with the co-developed Subaru BRZ.

Agency ATTIK, the same agency that brought us the Scion iQ Babes 'N' Donuts [and milk] ad, developed the first spot launching the FR-S.  Its quick paced, high energy performance shots are a bit unexpected from the Scion brand, but this is a new era for them. "The rear-wheel drive sports car is the brand's halo car," states Jack Hollis, Vice President, Scion.

It isn't your typical halo car either.  With very few options available, one is left with few interior options a $26 ash tray or a $95 carpet trunk mat. Sorry no leather but you do get a leather steering wheel, power one-touch windows, and remote keyless entry. Also included standard are front, side and curtain airbags and iPod connectivity.

For the low-end consumer sports car market there is a lot of car here, unless you want some higher end options.  Perhaps some additional trim levels and engine options will make it even more desirable for those who love the look, but want more halo.

The ad does what it needs to do. It appeals to the TopGear oriented sports car fan who loves tight wheel shots, burnouts, and RPM gauge closeups. It becomes interesting when "Scion" flashes on screen as that is the most unexpected moment of the ad. If this were a Mustang or Camaro ad the impact would be minimal as it is expected. When it comes from the company with the xB, xD, iQ, and tS it becomes disruptive... in a good way.


Monday, April 9, 2012

Remember When Parking Lots Were Full of Wagons, Not SUVs? Neither Do I.

This classic ad from Volvo kind of reminds me of my home. Off I go to work in my convertible, while leaving my wife with the wagon.  Though she is no meek wallflower and definitely has no issue "mobilizing."

Yet it's interesting to see the ads of today that show wagons as vehicles of adventure and escape; though Volvo does not call the XC70 a wagon but rather the much overused term Crossover.

This ad showcasing the off-road prowess and speed is what it takes to make a wagon cool again than so be it. At least we are no longer talking about how many refrigerators full of groceries a Volvo wagon can carry.

You've come a long way baby.


Monday, August 29, 2011

The Hamster Car Dances with Halo-Like Warriors

A couple weeks ago at the Woodward Dream Cruise I overheard a couple talking with a friend of theirs after they parked their new Chrysler 200.

Friend: "So you bought the Eminem car." (laughter)

The driver, looking down at the ground: "I didn't buy it for that reason, but yeah it's the 'Eminem car.'"

Recalling the Chrysler 200 conversation, I have to wonder if Kia Soul owners get "is that the hamster car?" And does it leave people feeling pride or shame.

Good thing for Kia their young demographic probably doesn't remember much of the Richard Gere hamster/gerbil rumor.

I'm guessing most of it is pride since the campaign has been very well received and reading the YouTube comments on this latest ad shows people love and defend the hamsters.

Hat tip to AdWeek. Click here for their thoughts.


Monday, July 11, 2011

Looking Into the Share of Voice of Volt and LEAF

This blog has followed a lot of the marketing efforts of two very compelling vehicles from the past several years: The Chevy Volt and the Nissan LEAF. Both cars are currently taking charge (pun intended) in the battle for green bragging rights with consumers and now Nissan has thrown a new punch at its Chevy competitor.

The new ads feature life with gasoline fueled appliances. The ads look into the continued dependence of gasoline engines as an old technology that is far behind the times, of course most of Nissan’s own portfolio of vehicles are hence old technology, but this is about green bragging rights and Nissan showcasing its competitive advantage.

Chevy has ensconced its Volt as a fighter of “range anxiety.” Range anxiety is the uneasy feeling that one’s all-electric vehicle may run out of charge before reaching the owner’s destination. Chevy has a backup gas engine to avoid such moments of concern, of course that’s pretty expensive backup plan but thankfully both the Volt and LEAF gain from current $7,500 government incentives to offset costs.

I wanted to take a look at how performance for both of these vehicles is doing online and worked with some great people from MutualMind here in Dallas who ran some social media analytics against the two cars for the week of May 29 - June 4, just to get a peek at what is going on in the social conversation.

IMG 1: Brand Hits refer to the Nissan LEAF, Competitor Hits to the Chevy Volt

It’s interesting to see they are both neck and neck as far as coverage, mentions of the two vehicles are with the Nissan LEAF having a slight edge, but that may be due mostly to the new ad campaign that is gaining some visibility internationally since it is creatively similar to a Renault ad running in Europe.

Sentiment is where the data gets a bit more interesting. Negative sentiment for the Volt is almost two times higher than it is for the LEAF, but that’s only half of the story. Positive sentiment is 34% higher with Volt than LEAF. What's this tell us? At least in social media conversation, Volt is a more polarizing vehicle meaning people are either defending it or criticizing it.

There are some rumors circulating around GM doing an all-electric Volt (GM has denied this.) It’s highly doubtful GM would use the same vehicle name (or even the same brand Chevy) to compete more directly with Nissan’s LEAF and Ford’s coming Focus EV. Like the hybrid market, the electric-vehicle (EV) market is sure to get very competitive and not be as simple as evaluating two primary competitors.

For now though, it is interesting watching these two solutions from two big brands battle for the hearts and minds of the green crowd as we move into the Post-Prius green vehicle movement.

Later this week I'll be sharing some of my personal thoughts on the Chevy Volt after driving one several days.

Thanks to Babar Bhatti from MutualMind for providing me with some great data. For more information, please contact:

Company: Mutual Mind

MutualMind is a social media management and intelligence platform that enables businesses to monitor as well as promote brands on social networks while providing actionable analytics and insights to increase social media ROI.

MutualMind offers a platform that allows users to aggregate and analyze feedback and conversations regarding their products or services on all of the major social media platforms. While many alternatives on the market today are limited just to listening or publishing, MutualMind’s has taken its value proposition further through the ability for users to actively engage with and manage the various social media outlets.

The functionality of this platform can be used for a myriad of business applications including: measuring market receptivity to products or services, tracking consumer or political sentiment, reputation/crisis management, generating sales leads, benchmarking versus competitors, and customer relationship management to name a few.


Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Toyota "Force"

I'm sure many of you remember Volkswagen's "The Force" Super Bowl commercial. If you do not, you can read about it here. You know you made an ad that resonated with the public when you get some parodies on YouTube. The best one by far is this Toyota example that brings a bit of automotive recall hijinks to the mix.


Credit goes to @CGawley's blog post. Thanks Cameron.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hyundai Debuts iPad Ad During The Oscars

It's an interesting sell for a $60k plus luxury car - feature the owner's manual. Manuals are something so mundane and expected, but what wasn't expected from a car manufacturer is an electronic version included in the glove-box on an Apple iPad.

But does it matter? Does the owner manual matter in a luxury sedan? Of course no one is going to buy a $60k car because they get a $500 tablet computer. The Hyundai Equus ad has nothing to do with attracting luxury car buyers, it's really about the brand showing they are being innovative and hopefully some of that innovation will rub-off on other shoppers who may consider another Hyundai vehicle, sans iPad.

Is the Equus iPad app really that innovative? There have been other versions of owner manuals including the cassette tape I received when I bought a 1997 BMW 318i. Sure it was no iPad, but it was better than flipping through the paper copy in the glove-box.

Some found the debut of Hyundai's Equus iPad Owner Manual ad during tonight's Oscars a "Brilliant" idea. It is a solid idea and a great way for owners to get to know their car better, especially with all the technology in today's cars. It is an excellent way to explain the complexity of today's vehicles. Fortunately, my former 1997 BMW didn't have today's electronics and could be expressed on a tape deck.

Of course you don't need to spend tens of thousands of dollars to experience the Equus iPad Owner Manual; instead, you just need an iPad and an iTunes store account. Click here to download the Owner Manual app.


Saturday, February 27, 2010

Hyundai Appeals to Lipstick Lesbians

I’ve been enjoying a lot of the coverage and beauty of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. When I was growing up, we lived in Portland, Oregon for many years and would visit Vancouver quite often on family vacations. I always imagined that’s where I would live when I was on my own. It was of course gorgeous, clean, and a lot of fun with suspension bridges, totem poles and the charm of English ancestry throughout the city. What I didn’t realize is that Canada is far more liberal than the United States.

With a much smaller population than the United States and a more laid back society (they even have legalized same sex marriage), running homosexual-themed automotive ads would be unthinkable in our country but not in Canada. It’s refreshing seeing the latest ad from Hyundai where two women find a common bond with a car in a very flirtatious, subtle way.

The lesbian-themed ad played on daytime TV, not the middle of the night. It shows a more open society, something we will likely not see here in the States for many more years even decades.

One thing I do wonder is how accepting would a gay male ad be, even in Canada? Apparently, Hyundai tested those waters in Sweden back in the 1980s with this hilarious ad. Maybe we'll see an updated male version for the Canadian market next?

Thanks to Auto North for a good article about the ad and other gay-themed advertisements.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Lexus Superwoman Emerges, Sans Leather?

I received an email from Lexus promoting their all new GX SUV with a leather-clad urban shopping mall mom ready to do battle. Unfortunately, the website experience was disconnected from the campaign (learn more on this blog post.) Well fortunately Lexus has debuted a TV commercial that is connected to the GX campaign.

In the ad, a woman swerves heroically around an urban environment with her "precious cargo" in back - her two sons - "because every great action hero needs a vehicle." The ad ends with a Batman-like spotlight of the Lexus logo against a dark city skyline.

The TV commercial is at least aligned with the campaign idea, but what happened to the leather? In the commercial, we get an attractive brunette 40-year old who reminds me of Weeds star Mary-Louise Parker. Someone must have throttled the super hero image back a bit for the TV crowd. Lexus must have decided to look into the showroom and found heir customers wear a more sedate outfit.

At least the messaging is inline with the campaign concept and really the campaign is pretty decent for a shopping mall luxury SUV. What else are you going to say to make driving a big, fuel-guzzling SUV sexy and interesting? You definitely are not going to be climbing through mud or driving to the mountains. This is about making a trip to the kid's soccer game seem exciting and the soundtrack certainly helps.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Testimonial Advertising: Let Your Customer Sing Your Praises

Customer testimonials are all the rage right now. From Ford to Porsche, it seems every segment is featuring real customers sharing their experiences with their cars. There is a long history of this approach in automotive advertising, in fact all advertising. Why? Because it is seen as authentic and a way for people to see real people express their happiness with a purchase they made, so that if potential customers see this enthusiasm, they too will want to share in a similar exuberance and make the same purchase.

I see nothing really wrong with this approach. It is a bit more interesting than watching a grey-haired executive meander through an office building saying why he believes in the company that is paying him.

Customer testimonials ads are kind of like the traditional media example of user generated content. Sure it’s not exactly the same, but the concept is similar. You are letting real people share their real story about your brand. There is no corporate speak and the opinions are honest.

The biggest argument against this approach is that the brand has obviously cherry-picked their customer testimonials, unlike true user generated content online where you can find the good, the bad and the so-so. Naturally, campaigns using real customer experiences always focus on the good ones and consumers know this.

It’s all about the selection. I’m sure I can find a good number of people who are happy about buying the car with the worst quality rating in the industry that will speak to their flawless vehicle or the most hideous styled car owners who are willing to say it looks great. That’s the best part of controlling the conversation; you can edit your choices. It’s essentially the TV ad equivalent of moderating online conversation.

Everyone is doing it right now, even the company with the grey-haired executive. GM launched the Faces of GM this summer that features real owners and employees who give a “face” to GM. One extended video that was advertised on Facebook, has a new owner who sold her previous BMW 5-series and bought a Cadillac CTS.

Ford (our primary client at Team Detroit, the company I work for) recently launched a brand campaign for Drive One that features ads with real owners sharing their favorite features of Ford cars. An article from Business Week explains the concept best, “the people in the ads are real. They were drafted to be in focus groups. They were not asked until after all the video was shot if they would be willing to have the footage used in ads.”

Another example is one from Porsche that seeks Porsche Stories from real owners. This effort for the Porsche Panamera launch site, asks visitors to share their Porsche Story. But this effort isn’t so much about new product experiences; rather, it is about the passion Porsche enthusiasts and owners have for the brand. Porsche is doing this to show the Panamera is just another “branch on the family tree.” Essentially it showcases the community Porsche owners become a part of, even the ones who may show up to a Porsche event in a ridiculed 4-door monstrosity.

So if you own a car don’t be surprised if someone from the marketing department wants you to share your story online or maybe even invites you to star in a commercial. Testimonial advertising is making a strong comeback and is becoming a way for traditional media to play in the social media sharing that is going on today. Sure it’s not true social media sharing, but it is using the premise of consumers talking about your brand in an open and honest way, even if it is edited.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Proving The "Good Stuff" Can Be Found in the Creative Department

I've been in enough campaign ideations to know it really took some convincing to get a client to sign-off on a "dog fish" as the lead in your new car commercial. When evaluating a campaign, one often asks is the campaign more about the car or the driver. I have never asked is the campaign about the driver's genetically, mutated pet?

Perhaps this came up in research? The target consumers enjoy surfing, swimming and own dogs so how about we develop an ad using a mystical creature that's half dog and half fish? I have to admit it does sound like some good stuff, please pass the ganja. At least it's memorable, which is something I can't say about most ads; though, the memory is more about the pet and not the car. I know it was Volkswagen. But was it a Golf? A Jetta? A Passat? Oh wait, I think it was a Jetta, a Jetta station wagon...

The ad was developed for the Brazilian market. more.