Thursday, August 13, 2009
So you can’t afford the new Ferrari 458 Italia. Bummer. It would really look great in your driveway and you would look better behind the wheel of it.
So, what does a brand do when it’s not about attracting in-market buyers, but more about attracting aspirational excitement for your brand? You provide a ton of ways to experience the vehicle virtually.
The new 458 reveal site presents several ways for aspirational Ferrari fans to engage with the car. The site features demonstration videos on chassis, engine, braking and other performance related features, typical Ferrari content. The sports car is also showcased with large full site images that make the red 458 pop on the page.
One can continue their experience in a rich “Downloads” section where the traditional screensaver and wallpaper images exist. What’s cool is the rich sound of the car can be loaded to a mobile phone with special files for iPhone users. So that every time your boss calls you can hear the acceleration of your stress represented by the acceleration of a monstrous 562 hp engine.
Unfortunately, the engagement stops at the site. I attempted to Register for Ferrari news after going through three pages of registration - guess one has to be highly motivated to get any news from a super car company. Well after completing the extensive registration, an error was generated causing my registration to fail and now I had to re-enter everything all over again. After a second attempt -- I’m uber-motivated apparently, the registration failed again.
I can only assume it’s technical but I’m starting to think that it’s due to my choice on the form for the question: "Would you consider the 458 Italia as your next Ferrari?" Where I entered “It will always be a dream of mine.”
So maybe covertly Ferrari is not interested in engaging aspirational fans, but rather someone who may be able to afford it sometime in the future, not us dreamers.
For now, there are some great takeaways with the iPhone/mobile ringtones, wallpaper, and screensaver. At least I can experience the car in an affordable way.