Showing posts with label convertible. Show all posts
Showing posts with label convertible. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Volvo Tests Males Attention to Detail

Volvo has some fun in this European ad for the Volvo C70 hardtop convertible. The concept is well, a wife-swap idea, but it also pokes some fun at how clueless we men are when it comes to paying attention to the details in life. Or is that we are so self-absorbed that it really doesn't matter which attractive woman we are sharing our cars with?

Most interesting is how the ad gets away with a wife-swap theme without coming off creepy or offensive. Other than some brief shoulder nudity during the women swapping blouses, the ad is simply a great way to showcase the two unique variants of a hardtop convertible. As someone who ones a hardtop convertible, I get a lot of people who are surprised my car is a convertible and not just a coupe. It really is two cars in one and the Volvo ad plays off that idea in an interesting, creative way.

One has to wonder if this new idea runs counter to another Volvo C70 ad called "I Adore You"? In this ad, a couple share a mutual love for the C70 as they gaze into each others eyes. Perhaps this is the start of the relationship and months or years later we get the new wife-swap ad showing it really doesn't matter who you are with as long as you're in a Volvo.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lexus Pops Its Top

Lexus wants you to “Open It Up” according to their Facebook ad for the launch of the 2010 Lexus IS Convertible. I’m guessing they couldn’t go with “Pop Your Top”, so they found a nice PG-version of the phrase to get people excited about another hardtop folding roof from a luxury manufacturer.

The CRM email piece is a little more understated as it just asks be "Open All Night". Oh wait, that sounds a bit odd too. Regardless of when you open it all up, the new Lexus IS Convertible has arrived.

The email campaign started yesterday and ads for the car appeared on Facebook today. Links from the ads, take you to the Lexus Future Vehicles section. Here there is a limited palette of colors to choose from, four to be exact. A couple videos show some nice beauty shots of the top retracting complete with spa-like music soundtrack. Lastly, a surprise, or at least it was for me, the new convertible is offering a F-Sport package that upgrades the car with many performance features including cross-drilled brakes, performance intake, sway bars and many other enthusiast goodies.

I have to admit, I was taken aback by the F-Sport options. It is obviously Lexus’ answer to the new BMW Performance line that the Bavarians are promoting lately. The package does add an element to the Lexus convertible I was surprised to see Lexus pursue.

The IS is a rather sedate, boring car. I drove a IS350 all-wheel drive for a couple days last year after bringing in my wife’s RX300 for some service at the dealership. The loaner IS I had was nice, but it was typical Lexus. Great materials, decent handling, and a peppy engine, but nothing I’d call out as performance. Sure there is the IS-F M3 fighter, but that seems like a much different beast than the standard issue IS.

The IS convertible just doesn’t strike me as an enthusiast car for Lexus as I’m sure we’ll see tons of real estate agents, scratch that they’re broke, uhm… female doctors driving around in this car. The enthusiast culture of BMW owners is hard enough on us convertible owners (I drive a 2007 BMW 335i convertible), I can’t imagine how unconvincing a F-Sport IS convertible is to the performance crowd. So, it is an interesting product decision and it will be interesting to see if and how Lexus markets the IS beyond the top popping crowd.

I find it odd that they are now heavily promoting this car and still lack a Build & Price feature to configure the vehicle on their website. Plus, driving customers to their Future/Concept website section gives the impression the car is some way off in the future and there is no communication about when to expect the Lexus IS convertible at dealerships.

After some searching, the Lexus IS convertible will enter showrooms in late May and start at $38,490. So, keep your top on until then...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Viral Fun? Four Guys Getting All Wet and Soapy

Mini Cooper's "Always Open" campaign for their new convertible is trying the viral video route by doing something every convertible lover wants to see - top down car washing. Whenever I get into my convertible I'm always tempted to press the automatic top button to see what will happen if I go through the wash sans top. Now I know. I'll get all soapy, wet and power dried.

Mini takes the fascination of convertible driving in a new direction as they show something that theoretically sounds fun and a bit rebellious as four guys video tape their drive through a car wash. The campaign team is definitely thinking this is something that could turn viral since it is video that probably wouldn't exist without marketing dollars influencing a local car wash owner to allow a drive top down. It, therefore, is unique video because I know I'm not going to payoff a car wash owner to try this at home. So unique yes. Viral?

This brings us to what makes a video viral. Unique helps, but it needs more to be viral.

Is driving a convertible through a car wash entertaining? It is, though, I'm sure the male demographic watching the Mini footage wishes it had some gender equality in the four seats. The marketing team knows this would definitely up viewer-ship, but at the expense of some negative press, especially from their 41% female owners (JD Power 2008.) Even so, they still could've included some women in the drive without it really turning into some salacious wet t-shirt contest brought to you by Mini. Editing people. Editing.

Is it funny? There are a couple moments. One guy takes a strong power jet washer hit and a back seat passenger puffs up while going through the drying cycle. Overall, it doesn't do much because it is so contrived and obvious the whole experience is a marketing stunt. Yet, it does have some interesting moments and is sure to get some circulation from the shear uniqueness of the content.

Is it relevant to the customer Mini is trying to reach? Absolutely. This is where the video is most effective. It shows the car in something other than city streets or with the wind blowing in your hair in the night sky. It's playful too which completely fits Mini's brand promise. Lastly, it is right with the messaging of the current campaign. The Mini convertible is even "Always Open" even in an unexpected car wash drive.