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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.


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Thursday, August 11, 2011

Will RFID be at Every Auto Show Display Next Year?



Radio-Frequency Identification (RFID) Facebook status updates are becoming the rage in social media event activations with the latest incarnation coming from Mercedes-Benz sponsorship of this year's PGA Championship in Atlanta, Georgia.



Recently Renault did something similar with RFID at an auto show last April which leaves me wondering if RFID Facebook updates are the next must have accessory for the coming 2012 auto show season? I'm willing to bet they are and with brands looking to activate what happens at an event to share in the digital world, RFID Facebook integration is a great way to extend a brand's investment in event sponsorships by reaching a person's online community too.

The question then is should the kiosks featured in the Renault and Mercedes-Benz examples be configured to support the entire event, where one can register a pass for the auto show and share across multiple brand stations? Or will an attendee after register at each brand kiosk to do whatever that brand wants the experience to be?



We'll probably see several of these RFID registration kiosks from a handful of brands; instead, of a more elegant register once with the event organizer - yeah I'm talking to you North American International Auto Show, New York Auto Show, and Los Angeles too.

No matter what happens, event planning teams across the automotive industry certainly are seeing these examples and the media coverage they are getting and will likely follow suit. So be ready to link your Facebook profile to a RFID card.




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Thursday, August 4, 2011

Automotive Facebook Fans by Brand: July 2011



The struggling brand smart grew more than any other brand, at least on Facebook where their global page had a 109% gain of 25,821 fans while only selling 327 cars in the United States in July. Therein lies a problem that is growing in this report. Several European brands have created USA based pages, smart being one of them. BMW, Audi, Mercedes, and Volvo all have USA pages now and perhaps it is time to modify this report to show a United States view of fan growth by brand.


My only issue with switching to the USA pages is that the USA pages have much smaller budgets, lack a lot of the organic growth that happens. Why? Because people looking for a brand's Facebook page are far more likely to click on the one with the most fans and the cleanest page name. You follow BMW, not BMW USA especially when you see all of the fans and activity on the BMW page. This is a behavior I've seen for years on Facebook and so I tend to focus on the primary brand page.

With so many USA pages, is it time to switch this report to a USA focused report, especially considering I don't track non-USA brands like Peugeot or Citroen.

Let me know your thoughts. Should I switch to this tracking the USA focused fan pages?


One other thing of note last month is Mercedes-Benz overtaking Audi's page in the race for fans. One of the big pushes for the brand is their "Mercedes-Benz & Friends" event coming August 25-28 bringing together all international official Benz clubs.

But most of the fan growth likely came from the marketing efforts of their Drive & Seek game helping to launch the all-new Mercedes C-Class Coupe. The game is centered around the player being a special agent who is trying to outsmart a security system.




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