Pages

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rapping White Parents are Viral Video Gold

I loved Toyota's Swagger Wagon when it came out back in 2010. It provided some much needed entertainment in the difficult minivan space where a lot of buyers felt they had to defend their purchase of a minivan against a slew of cooler SUVs.

That was almost 3 years ago and it's been awhile since we have had an automaker try the formula:

Parent(s) + Kids in diapers + Toys + Car + Casio Keyboard Synthesizer + Rap = Viral Video Gold

The parent rapping formula definitely works, Toyota's video has over 11 million views. Then there is a recent addition from the comedy team Bluefish TV that has over 1.6 million views.


Fiat decided to enter this genre and has netted near a million views already; though, it's unclear how much media is behind the success.

"Word to all the mothers out there. This one goes out to you..." reads the YouTube video's description.

It is what you expect a lot of hang wagging, complaints about spit up, rhymes about life before being a mom, a mention of snot, and an attractive upper-middle class mom doing the simplest rap tempo.



The ad, called "The Motherhood", promotes the British release of the Fiat 500L a car we cannot currently get in the States.  If you are familiar with automotive naming, you can quickly figure this is a Fiat 500 "Large" basically Fiat's answer to the MINI Countryman. It made it's debut a few weeks ago at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

I'm sure the 500L rap video will continue to gain views. Sadly this formula works. Fortunately, the world is ending tomorrow and with it hopefully the end of rapping white parents complaining about their trials raising kids. It was a creative and fun idea once. The copycats have been painful. Here, here to the Mayan Apocalypse!



ShareThis

Friday, August 31, 2012

Random Acts of Comments



Social media ad buys are kind of crazy.  Take in point this ad for the new Ford Fusion Random Acts of Fusion campaign from Ford that showed up in my Facebook Home page newsfeed.

It has a visually interesting video still image of the actress Kate Micucci. How is her last name pronounced? I tried to say it to my wife and got slapped. Personally I had no idea who she was, but that says more about my lack of TV watching than it does about the choice to use her in the automotive ad.  It's more interesting to use a celebrity, especially an attractive one than always going with another beauty shot of a car.

What's interesting though is what happens with the ad's engagement.  Do people like it for the car, the brand, or the actress? Based on the comments it is highly likely the ad gets its engagement less from being automotive than being cute celebrity content.

However that really doesn't matter in the end, because people engaged with the brand in some way today that probably would have never happened if it wasn't for the nice photo of Kate and bonus if they clicked the video to see what she had to say.

Obviously the focus here is generating awareness for the campaign to people who probably are not car people. What do you think? Does it matter what generates a like or a comment on an ad?


ShareThis

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.
ShareThis

Friday, August 17, 2012

Confusing Your Models



This is a new one.

Model Carolyn Giles is suing Volvo after the company supposedly ran some ad units on an Australian dating website inviting singles to "spend a night with the Swedish model of your choice."

The issue with the ad has a lot to do with the double meaning of 'model.' Unfortunately, the copywriter's play on words is bringing Volvo into court..

The misleading copy of 'model' is now a $23 million lawsuit Giles has filed against Volvo, Hertz and her modeling agency. It's doubtful the damages are anywhere near that significance.  Regardless, it is a good lesson in ad copy and media buying.

Sure a good play on words can grab the site visitor's attention just make sure you still respect the integrity of your talent.

Source: [Dailymail]
ShareThis

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

The Cost to Not Ignore Nissan



The simple equation of Return on Investment (ROI) is a hot topic in social media circles as the discipline evolves to prove its value in the media and communications mix for business.  It's a topic that has spawned several conference topics, a multitude of articles and several books all vying to show how social media experts can realize ROI in their social strategy.

Within the ROI dialog is another set of value acronyms that try to show other forms of value other than direct monetary value. One popular one is Return on Engagement (ROE) that looks to show value provided by conversations and the establishment of deeper relationships with one's customers or prospective customers.

Thanks to yesterday's AdAge, Nissan has now entered a new acronym to the social value lexicon: Cost of Ignoring (COI). Erich Marx, Nissan's director-interactive and social-media marketing, shared "you have to be there [social media]. It's not about ROI, it's about COI-- cost of ignoring. It's too big to ignore."


Nissan's COI strategy is currently focusing on five vehicle launches in the next 15 months, all of them to include a "heavy emphasis" on social media.

Ever since General Motors pulled out of a $10 million Facebook campaign, the marketing and investment world has been interested in what automotives are doing on the site.  I'm not sure the story about Nissan's latest Facebook activities is that different from what's been happening on Facebook for the past several years from many car companies.

Nissan will be asking Altima fans to share car ideas that might be implemented in a future product and recently they did an essay contest where winners were selected for a drive event at Nissan's proving grounds.

Which brings us back to COI.

Any idea what the equation is for Cost of Ignoring? Perhaps it's something like Cartman's equation for gold.




[Source]: AdAge "Nissan Looks to Facebook to Help Launch Five New Models"



ShareThis

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.


ShareThis

Sunday, May 20, 2012

How Did Honda's Pintermission Perform?



Most of us in social media are fairly tired of writing POVs on whether a brand should be on Pinterest and the resounding response from many companies is 'yes we should and here are some boards to prove it.' Honda is one who decided to make an early entry on Pinterest.

They built their brand boards around the current launch of the 2013 Honda CR-V, but instead of leaving it to a few well posed pictures of a car in various scenes Honda decided to apply their campaign idea in a fun and unique way on Pinterest.

The current campaign talks about "What's on your leap list?" What's a "leap list"? It's basically a bucket list but without the morbid implication you should do x things before you die. Good idea to change it from bucket list as one's mortality isn't really the inspiration for buying a utilitarian vehicle like the CR-V.

Here is a TV spot showing a grandmother and grandson taking a drive to where grandma grew up.




It's a charming story of getting out and exploring one's world and family roots. At the core of the idea, it's all about getting out into the world and experiencing fresh air and a bit of adventure.

So where does Pinterest fit in?

With all of the excitement happening online with Pinterest, Honda developed the idea of a #Pintermission, where one takes a break from online and gets out to live life to experience more than pinning things.

I love the idea here because it turns the excitement of a new social media platform into something tangible and still relates to the message of the campaign.

To encourage participation, Honda engaged 5 very active Pinterest users who all have significant 6 and 7 figure followings on the site. Each person has their own #Pintermission board on Honda's page (parenthesis indicate # of Pinterest followers): Bonnie Tsang (551,738), Caitlan Crawley (1,362,965), Jennifer Chong (1,713,868), Jonathan Lo (849,949), and Michael Wurm (1,044,820)




The Pinterest effort launched a month ago and that seems like enough time to see how it did.  Before we get into the numbers I should caveat that I never expected anything big here. What was significant is the coverage this simple execution received in the advertising a social media publications and blogs.  That in and of itself was a win because now Honda is seen as a solid case study of what a brand can do on Pinterest, beyond just create a few boards and call it a day - basically what most other brands seem to be doing.

For those wondering how many CR-Vs it sold, I would venture a guess of zero. So for the ROI crowd this isn't a a good use of time. The branding crowd however will find some benefit here since it shows Honda is paying attention to social trends and found a playful, meaningful way to fit it into their new vehicle launch.  There's little doubt it generated some positive brand impressions from people on #PinChat and others who love this new social platform.


Finally from a PR perspective it worked brilliantly after getting some good media coverage showing earned media works well when the idea is creative, there's a new technology to be innovative on, and it's a social platform gaining a rapid audience.

Here are the results (keeping in mind Pinterest has a very limited reach):


Impressive? Got me.  This is a new platform and there really isn't much to benchmark from on the site. I will add that of all the metrics publicly available on Pinterest, Repins is the best indicator of successful content.  I say this because repins show someone else finds a post personally relevant enough to include it on their personal board.

To end, this was a beautifully executed idea that fit with the Honda CR-V marketing campaign.

Want to see more of the creative? Checkout all of Honda's #Pintermission posters on AdWeek.


ShareThis

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Delicate Balance of Nature and Technology



Talking about a solitary ubiquitous feature of a product can be a rather dull proposition for a creative team that's why I always enjoy seeing examples that showcase a rather mundane feature and do it in a way that captures the audience's attention.

Take for instance this TV spot in Ford Australia that has some fun with perceived poor performance of 4 cylinder engine cars.




While talking frogs isn't anything fresh or new here in the States, everyone remembers the Budweiser frogs in the 90s, it is a creative take on a cultural reference about Cane Toads who are disliked by most Australians for their negative impacts on biodiversity and some of their "secretions." I'll leave it to the ad to fill you in on the latter.

Perhaps a further marketing extension is to do some branded Cane Toad purses...or not.

Source: [AdAge Creativity Pick of the Day]
ShareThis

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.






ShareThis

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Our Family's Personal Story of Buying a Car



This post is going to be a bit different than my usual post on the blog.  I’m not going to write about marketing all that much, since sadly marketing had very little to do with what cars our family narrowed down to.  Is this because marketing has little impact on car shopping? No.  I’m sure it had more to do with my being fairly knowledgeable about the cars currently in the market so discovery wasn’t a factor.

It’s been over four years since I last went through the car buying experience. There is never a dull moment when buying a car.

A lot of information is online, including every dealership’s inventory that makes seeing what’s already on dealer lots easy, sometimes.  I found several dealers didn’t fill out all of the specifications including such basic things as interior color and packages.  I even had one dealer I did an email inquiry on ignore my simple question about interior color and instead told me to, “Come on down and test drive it. You’ll love it!” “You know what I’d love to know what the interior color is,” I responded in a follow up email. 

One thing I learned is that dealers still have a ton to learn.  Their email systems with auto-response are a mess, often making communication more troubling. In another situation, I submitted a request to get a dealer’s “ePrice.”  What came back was a lovely form email telling the MSRP as the “ePrice” on a car that’s body style is 5 years old and I know full well had at least a couple thousand dollars of room to negotiate. You think they would’ve tried a little with even $500 off.

Our car buying decision was a joint process between my wife and me.  It was to replace her 1999 Lexus RX300 that was starting to suffer old age with too many repairs last year.  Since our moving to Dallas from Detroit, we do a lot more out of state travel.  My wife isn’t a big fan of flying so driving back and forth between Texas and Michigan is at least a twice a year thing. 

So we needed a car that worked for our family of four (twin 5 year old boys in tow), had all-wheel drive thanks to Michigan winter driving still, had plenty of cargo space, and navigation. Plus a decent turning radius after 10 years of the Lexus that required a three-point turn in every situation.

About a year ago, we were online and I was showing my wife the integrated child booster seats on the Volvo SUVs and wagon.  This $1000 option, included in the cold package, had my wife talking about wanting a Volvo most of last year.  The XC90 was her primary choice.

While I liked the Volvos, I wanted to look at some other choices too.  I started researching used Porsche Cayennes and X5 Diesels, knowing new was out of my league.  She wanted a new car so my dream of Euro CPO was out of the question.

Our first experience with a Volvo was a overnight extended test-drive before Christmas break in a XC90. I had been down to a dealership in late November and the sales guy kept leaving me messages, but I wasn’t serious enough to buy or call back yet. Finally he left one message saying he can offer us an overnight test-drive. I took him up on it.

It was massively disappointing – showing how the test-drive is the most significant part of a buying decision.  The XC90 had soft, floaty handling and some of the interior items, because the car hasn’t been refreshed in a major way since 2002 when it launched, felt cheap and poorly executed.  I remember most the ugly window switch that looked like it came out of a late 1990s Ford, which it probably did.  Also the third row was completely useless. 

We returned the XC90 telling the salesperson at Park Place Volvo in Dallas that we were going on vacation for the holiday and to call us back first week of January.  I still have yet to hear from this dealership…

Fast forward to early February. 

I’m very fortunate. I have some great contacts in the auto industry and thanks to Scott Monty and Sam Delag of Ford I was able to secure a 2012 Ford Explorer to see if I could get my wife interested in a Ford.  Let me preface, her good friend had an Explorer in the 1990s and hated it. In fact, I helped our friend buy a Toyota Highlander after the miserable experience with her Ford. So, my wife was very skeptical.

I told her Ford really has changed. Of course, I knew this very well having worked at Ford’s Agency of Record Team Detroit for 3 years before coming to AT&T in Dallas in 2010.

We spent about 5 days with the Explorer and it dramatically changed my wife’s opinion of the brand.  It also had us both extremely close to buying a Ford.  There was a lot to love. MyFord Touch was loaded with technology, including changing ambient interior light colors – the best feature according our kids.  Also the automatic, and useful, third-row seating was very impressive. 

What we didn’t love was the size. It felt huge on the road and Dallas has a lot of narrow parking spaces so I found myself having to pass 2 or 3 before finding a spot I wouldn’t get 50 door dings in. 

The size was also what we loved the most. It is a great road trip SUV and we could easily imagine some great drives across the States in it.  It had everything too with heated/cooled seats, dual-sunroofs, and great comfortable seats for all three rows.

We returned it to Grapevine Ford who was fantastic for letting us try it out.  Trevor, the sales guy who arranged everything, was excellent and I highly recommend him. 

Next we had arranged for a Volvo XC70 T6 station wagon from Volvo of Dallas for a weekend.

It was loaded with every feature imaginable; though, felt less optioned then the Ford Explorer we just returned the week before. Goes to show you how complete the Explorer is.

I have to say I loved the Volvo on two main points: handling and engine.  It satisfied everything I wanted out of a family hauler.  The turbo 300 horsepower and 325 pound feet of torque engine is slightly better than a stock version of my 2007 BMW 335i.   Handling on the T6 model is also firm and responsive.  It’s no BMW but it was a world of difference from the unimpressive XC90’s handling. 

Our boys really liked the integrated booster seats.  My wife felt the car was easier to drive than the larger Explorer and the technology seemed a lot simpler too. While MyFord Touch had a lot of cool features, it made for a very confusing interface after the more straight forward; though, less feature rich Volvo. 

The bad news on the Volvo was no third-row, a tiny sunroof, and no air-cooled seats.   Also the Volvo was about $4,000 more. 

In the end we went with the Volvo knowing that while we would appreciate the size and third-row of the Explorer a few key times in the year it wasn’t really necessary. Plus the Volvo was just easier day-to-day for my wife to drive and I loved the engine and handling of the XC70 T6. 

We also had a great salesperson, Jonathan Tullis, who made the whole transaction easy and straight forward, plus he follows up with customers.

While there are a lot of factors that go into choosing a vehicle, I find it funny that so little had anything to do with word-of-mouth, ads or social media. Though offers did matter since both cars had great financing rates that were a factor in our consideration.

Quite simply the biggest factor of our choice was a $1,000 option: the integrated child seats.  If that option was available in other brands, we most likely would’ve looked at them, because in the end it’s all about product. This time Volvo took an early lead and a strong finish with one simple product feature advantage no one else had.

We basically bought 300 horsepower car seats.

ShareThis

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Super Bowl 46 Automotive Ads: 3rd Annual ‘She Said, He Said’ analysis with Melanie Batenchuk


This is the Third Annual She Said, He Said with my good friend and fellow automotive blogger Melanie Batenchuck who writes at BeCarChic.

Overview This year’s Super Bowl was somewhat of a game changer for the auto industry. Much like the mood at the North American International Auto Show, the message last night was “We’re back! Now please buy our cars.” Twelve carmakers spread the ad love with 22 commercials aired before and during the big game. Hyundai and Chevrolet had the bulk of ads with four and three spots respectively, but that doesn’t mean they were the most memorable. Hyundai sponsored the kick-off pregame, where it aired two ads – one on the Elantra and the other on Hyundai’s 45,000 employees in the U.S. Toyota sponsored half time.

Needless to say, cars could be found in nearly every commercial break. And it seemed as if every car company was trying to out-do Volkswagen’s 2011 ‘Darth Vader’ ad, including Volkswagen, but none really achieved it. Honda’s Ferris Bueller homage was probably the closest to recreating the VW nostalgia among audiences.

#SuperBowl social media was everywhere The incorporation of social media was even more prevalent in this year’s Super Bowl. Last year, we saw the introduction of promoted tweets and hash tags, and SB46 included a plethora of such targeted advertising. While Audi and Acura added hash tags to the end of their commercials (#SoLongVampires and #JerrysNSX), others stirred buzz through promoted tweets and has tags.

There was even a legal spat between Ford and Chevrolet over the Chevy’s apocalyptic “2012” ad that specifically mentions a Ford truck driver ‘didn’t make it’ through the end of the world. A lawyer from Ford sent a cease and desist letter to General Motors on Saturday, February 4.


YouTube ruins ads for anyone paying attention If you’re like me, then you’re excited about the teaser ads companies release prior to the Super Bowl so you can get a taste of what is to come. All I wanted was a taste, but the week leading up to the big game left me drinking from a fire hose. Once an auto brand jumped off the YouTube bridge, the others tumbled like dominoes right behind. The pregame release of commercials can be fun if they aren’t the same ads aired during the game or simply share the beginning of the story and you have to catch the rest on TV.

The only car spot that we didn’t get a sneak peek at was Chrysler’s ‘Halftime for America’ ad starring the ever-gritty Clint Eastwood.

Now on to the good stuff… Below is the full ‘He Said, She Said’ analysis with Melanie for each automotive ad during the Super Bowl in the order that they aired. Enjoy our commentary and let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Hyundai – Victory Lap Car featured: Elantra | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Another quick, simple idea with Jeff Bridges calmly delivering the punch line, must be another Hyundai ad? Not much to say here except I wonder if Hyundai could make a bigger splash by concentrating their Super Bowl ads into a single ad.

SHE SAID: Hyundai kicked off Super Bowl XLVI with a feel-good, patriotic ad aired during the pregame event. The familiar voice of actor Jeff Bridges told us it was a Hyundai commercial before ‘Stars and Stripes’ cued the adorable Elantra, this year’s winner of the North American Car of the Year.

Hyundai – All for One | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Hyundai went for short comedic spots, but for this one they shared how their corporate culture is one of supportive action complete with Rocky theme music. If I recall correctly, this ad ran between the coin toss and kickoff. The positive energy was fun but like many Super Bowl spots last night it didn’t generate much interest after its 60 seconds were up.

With only 70,000 views on YouTube, no one searched for and based on the comments a significant amount of Union Automotive workers didn’t feel inspired after non-union Hyundai factories were featured.

SHE SAID: The Korean-based automaker took this opportunity (and the ‘Rocky’ theme) to showcase its 45,000 employees in the U.S. and how the team at their Montgomery, Ala. Plant helps to make Hyundai the brand that it is today. Although the singing was a bit cheesy, I liked that this ad helped to dispel the myth that American cars are built only in Michigan.

Kia – Dream Car for Life Car featured: Optima | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Adriana Lima, Chuck Liddell, Motley Crue, and a stadium full of bikini clad fans… seriously what more do you want from a small automotive brand? It’s a fun ad with a lot of big production ingredients designed to hit all of the target demographic passions of its aspirational buyer.

SHE SAID: Kia plays up both men and women’s senses by giving us a look into their dreams with this outrageous ad featuring fairy dust, Motley Crue, a race track, a white stallion, and Adriana Lima (who made a second SB46 appearance for Teleflora). This one wins my award for ‘most fun’ out of the car ads. It pleased both male and female audiences and had a lot of great energy behind it.

Hyundai – Cheetah Car featured: Veloster Turbo | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Meh. They promoted this ad quite a bit using Facebook ads the entire week before the game. It too is highly forgettable and the concept while cute for a second lacks the fun of the other Hyundai spots like “Think Fast.”

SHE SAID: By now, I was ready to see an ad from someone other than Hyundai…and this wasn’t even their last installment. While the commercial was entertaining, I felt that stacking all of their ads so close together made it difficult for everyday consumers who were watching to differentiate between the company’s products.

Hyundai – Think Fast Car featured – Genesis Coupe | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Charming. When you can make a temporary heart failure charming, you know your ad has a great premise. This simple ad without a big name celebrity, Hollywood movie set, or show dog finds a fun way to message performance. It’s unexpected and gets a quick smile from the Super Bowl audience.

The ad is complimented by several online videos featuring the High-Powered Business Tips from the boss in the Genesis Coupe ad. Of course you’ll have to figure that out online and not from the TV spot.

SHE SAID: I had a small chuckle at this ad, mostly because it reminded me of a scene from my favorite movie “What about Bob?,” where Bob (played by Bill Murray) won’t wake up out of bed Other than that, it simply shows that the Genesis Coupe comes with good braking agility.

Cars.com – Confident You Watch the Video

HE SAID: If weird is your thing, Cars.com has an ad for you. Complete with Siamese bobbing goiter head.

SHE SAID: I really didn’t enjoy the Cars.com ad. Confidence doesn’t have to be so creepy. And it doesn’t have to sing either.


Chevrolet – Happy Grad Car featured: Camaro convertible | Watch the Video

HE SAID: And now for some MoFilms user-generated semi-professional videographer ad goodness that’s not from Doritos. The Happy Grad ad is great. A new sports car is something any grad would go nuts for if mom and dad presented such a surprise while still in a cap-and-gown. The reality of the graduate’s non-present is one we can all relate too.

SHE SAID: I didn’t really get this ad either. The parents really didn’t try to show their son the fridge. And who gives their kid a mini fridge for graduation? Much less one out on the front lawn….

Toyota – Connections Car featured: Various Camry models | Watch the Video

HE SAID: This is a continuation of Toyota’s personal stories campaign that’s been asking owners on social media to share their stories. It’s not a bad ad; though, like the Lexus ad it blends into the crowd. What’s missing here is personalizing the stories even more by showcasing the exact language from their owners and sharing posts the brand has received on the web.

“Connections” is similar to a lot of past ads by just about any car company. We all have a story to share from our car. Every car I’ve ever owned has some story. So having a personal story really isn’t that interesting so I’m doubtful this campaign creates any compelling positioning any against competitors. Sharing a story in and of itself is dull even if you do add a cute dog hanging its head out a window.

SHE SAID: Toyota tried to tug at your heart strings here , but I think this commercial would have been more effective as a regularly run ad. The Super Bowl is so cluttered with attention grabbing spots that trying to get people sentimental about their Camry’s a few adult beverages in, may not be the best approach (unless, of course, you’re Chrysler).

Fiat – Seduction Car featured: 500 Abarth | Watch the Video

HE SAID: I refuse to review this ad as a Super Bowl ad, it was launched last year and is not original to the Super Bowl. Granted it was the first time many people paid attention to the ad, even if they passively saw it before…

SHE SAID: This video was saucy to say the least. What can I say, sexiness sells. Any commercial that can get my husband to tweet that he wants to look at a Fiat 500 is a success in my book. Sorry dear, it doesn’t come with the model.

Audi – Vampire Party Car featured: S6 headlights | Watch the Video

HE SAID: A few people have asked me what do I think of the Twilight Audi ad. I felt it was more True Blood with the older vampires and cooler Echo and the Bunnymen soundtrack. Plus as one 20 year old reminded me they think Volvo when thinking Twilight vampires, since Volvo dominated in movie placements.

The whole Twilight, True Blood, vampire trendy thing aside the ad is a great example of taking a rather mundane product feature like headlights and making it compelling in an interesting way. Is it Super Bowl entertaining? Sure. Not every ad on game day has to have a dog or model (or soccer star) in underwear.

SHE SAID: This one actually made me laugh out loud, mostly because I’m not into all that Vampire stuff. Lots of people liked the funny ad and the hash tag they assigned to it (#SoLongVampires). This commercial was for those of us who aren’t in love with blood-sucking teen wolves. Unfortunately, the ad fell short of promoting a car. Who spends $3.5 million to advertise headlights?

Suzuki – Sled Car featured: Kisashi | Watch the Video

HE SAID: My choice for cutest dog ad goes to Suzuki for the Kizashi “Sled” commercial. It’s adorable heck even the human driver is adorable and isn’t that what great pet advertising is all about? Plus what else are you going to say about an All-Wheel Drive system that hasn’t been said or done twenty thousand times already.

SHE SAID: My first reaction was, “Suzuki has enough money to buy a Super Bowl ad?” After the initial shock, I then found this to be a witty ad. Glad to see the Kisashi get some love. Hopefully it’ll translate into some U.S. sales for the company.

Chevrolet – Stunt Anthem Car featured: Sonic | Watch the Video

HE SAID: One creative idea that always gets tiring is the “let’s break a world record or be the first at X.” You know the brainstorming has hit a wall when your creative team starts Googling to see if anyone has skydived a car before.

That said, it’s a well done version of a rather boring concept. Of course the well chosen music track "We Are Young" by Fun, ft. Janelle Monae helps dramatically.

SHE SAID: Many of my friends really liked the adventurous spirit of the Sonic ‘stunt’ ad. I thought it was pretty rad and catered to the X-games demographic. I’m not running out to get a Sonic anytime soon (because I still think it’s a glorified Aveo), but others have recommended the sporty compact.

Bridgestone – Performance Football Watch the Video

HE SAID: More tire tread balls. I'll give them an A for consistency and a C for maintaining anyone's interest.

SHE SAID: Much like the Patriots’ final play, this ad from Bridgestone was a great idea but was poorly executed. (Sorry, Pats fans.)



Lexus – Beast Car featured: GS | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Nice grille. Now is a good time to go get another beer before the game comes back on.

Honestly, it’s a good update to a rather bland design and in person I love the new GS I saw at the Panasonic booth while at CES last month, but this ad is entirely forgettable and nothing is worse than a forgettable Super Bowl commercial you just paid $3.5 million for.

SHE SAID: I actually liked the teaser ad better because it created some suspense and excitement. I would have like to have seen an extended version that showed the some of the performance aspects of this Lexus classic.

Cadillac – Green Hell Car featured: ATS | Watch the Video 

HE SAID: Another 3-Series challenger. Welcome Cadillac, join the crowd and thanks for the cliche track porn driving around Nuremberg. Can we all agree as an industry that Nuremberg shall never be used in another ad campaign or PR stunt? It's as overplayed as Tim Tebow Internet memes.

SHE SAID: Sorry, but just because you hired German engineers and flung it around the ‘Ring doesn’t mean it’s a BMW beater.


Bridgestone – Performance Basketball Watch the Video 

HE SAID: Sleeping baby for the win! Not sure how a bouncing tire tread basketball on a wood court is similar to a pothole filled Michigan road on 19” performance rims, but I’ll admit I’m over thinking this one. Maybe it’s just because I don’t really care to make the connection between basketball and a tire’s quietness.

SHE SAID: Yawn. Nobody wants to hear about tire treads, we want to see it in action. Give us performance!

Honda – Matthew’s Day Off Car featured: CR-V | Watch the Video

HE SAID: One of my favorites as long as you overlook the sad notion that every child of the 80s high school playing-hooky idol ends up in middle-age driving a Honda CR-V. Then again many do end up in a basic, but nice car like a CR-V. Nothing is wrong with that except most of us remember the car aspect of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off as the beginning of collective our lust for a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California.

Of all the Ferris Bueller film moments in the ad, it’s not surprising we don’t see Broderick telling us, “if you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up” about the CR-V.

Oh well, it was great seeing a character we all loved return; though, Honda’s teaser made several think a new Ferris movie was coming, not another Super Bowl car ad. Guess we’ll all have to continue waiting for the full feature film of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off from Work coming to theaters in...?

SHE SAID: Ferris Bueller lives!...and he drives a CR-V. I liked how Honda brought back pleasant memories from a movie almost everyone over the age of 25 can remember (did I just age myself?). They did a great job recreating scenes of the original flick in such a short amount of time. Not sure anyone will be running out to by a CR-V, but there is a Facebook group pining for a sequel!

Acura – Transactions Car featured – NSX | Watch the Video 

HE SAID: This is the ad that crashed Acura’s website after it aired. I’m not surprised. Not because of the Jerry Seinfeld, Jay Leno celebrity effect. Nope. The reason everyone was rushing to Acura’s website was to see if they could afford the return of the much anticipated NSX!

What a beautiful car and a fun way to build excitement for the limited production release. Make a game of being first and isn’t being the guy on the block with the coolest car in the garage satisfy one of our most primitive desires? Plus this is one of the more believable celebrity fights to be first to own a car. This is the game of wealthy car enthusiast comedians than your typical Super Bowl viewer.

SHE SAID: The NSX lives!! And it’s really coming to production this time! I heart Jerry Seinfeld and Jay Leno. This would have been my favorite ad if it didn’t get released before the Super Bowl.

Volkswagen – The Dog Strikes Back Car featured: Beetle | Watch the Video

HE SAID: Star Wars has gone to the dogs. I ended up playing a drinking game with fellow #BrandBowl tweeters. Simple concept. Dog in ad = Drink. Thank you Volkswagen for the help.

SHE SAID: Well, well, well. VW actually released a teaser video and THEN a full Super Bowl ad that was loosely tied in with it. What a concept! This was a fun-loving bit that anyone could enjoy. Wait, is that the dog driving the Forester in that Subaru commercial?

Toyota – Reinvented Car featured: Camry | Watch the Video 

HE SAID: Some of the concepts here were cute and others confusing. Unfortunately the Camry didn’t look reinvented. It takes a pretty keen eye to see what Toyota has changed on the car this year. And with a typical evolutionary, not revolutionary change the concept of this ad falls short. 

Also what's with the time traveling baby that doesn’t poop and when it rains you lose weight? Neither seems desirable, except the no pooping part.

SHE SAID: I would definitely want to reinvent the DMV experience. The only thing missing in this ad and the other spot by Toyota was how they reinvented the Camry.

Chrysler – It’s Halftime in America Car featured: Various models | Watch the Video

HE SAID: I call this the Anti-Mitt Romney NY Times Op Ed Article Commercial. Sure it lacks the ring or sentimentality of It’s Halftime in America.

For a second year, Chrysler goes for the emotional up by our bootstraps brand messaging, but this time uses Dirty Hairy and fosters the strength of all of America, not just Detroit. It’s gritty, dark and strong just like last year’s ad but with a broader appeal.

Like the VW Star Wars ads, the Chrysler spot basically borrowed from last year’s success without an original idea. Instead it was more about building on prior success using a similar concept.

It’s not that I don’t like the Chrysler spot. It’s good. It’s just that I sort of saw it last year with Eminem and no offense to Clint Eastwood, but last year’s version was better. Besides I felt it was also so negative. Almost a view of America that is about 3 years old especially after seeing the improvements in the Unemployment rate and reduced fear about a massive recession; though, I’m by no means suggesting this economy is all fixed.

SHE SAID: This ad left me chanting, “Clint Eastwood for President!” For the second year in a row, Chrysler has seriously tugged on the heartstrings of Detroiters and Americans. There’s no one better to send the message of America’s true grit than Clint Eastwood. Although many people found this to be too politicized, I think it’s well timed. I liked how the ad didn’t showcase one car but rather bits of various Chrysler brand vehicles. Oh, and my favorite part of the ad? I didn’t see it before it aired!

Chevrolet – 2012 Car featured: Silverado | Watch the Video 

HE SAID: My favorite ad by far. I’m mainly happy to see the end of the world is less depressing than Cormac McCarthy’s The Road. Now there is a lot of controversy sounding this ad today after Ford raised several issues with Chevy’s claim of their product not surviving the fake-pocalypse, but that’s an issue for PR and legal.

As an ad, it is well done and a great touch with Twinkies surviving the apocalypse for a bonus comedic effect.

SHE SAID: Drama! The ad was great, don’t get me wrong. I just think that it would have had a stronger impact if Chevy didn’t single out Ford in such a negative way. After all, Ford isn’t the only other automaker competing in the truck market. Disclaimer: The author of this post provides strategic communications services for organizations that represent the auto industry, including many of the car manufacturers featured in this blog post. The views expressed in this post are solely the author’s and were not solicited by any third party.
ShareThis

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Pregame Buzz



Last year Volkswagen had quite the viral hit with "The Force" Super Bowl ad.  Of course, many forget that hit required some media spend to drive awareness about the commercial before the big game. Volkswagen did several paid media placements including the homepage of YouTube.

The awareness raised by advertising assisted sharing dramatically, but mostly sharing worked because "The Force" ad was brilliant with its adorable use of Star Wars encapsulated in the eyes of a little boy playing Darth Vader.

This year everyone is replicating VW's strategy to viral success. Ads are showing up everywhere promoting Super Bowl commercials.  Facebook ads. Promoted Tweets. YouTube homepage takeovers. Emails promoting the ads.

Here is a list of the Super Bowl commercials having some pregame advertising to drive YouTube video views along with how many views they received as of Saturday morning February 4. Each ad had it's own amount of advertising dollars supporting it.


We'll all see a year from now if one of these ads can attain the viral dominance of VW's "The Force" which has 50,014,879 views after a year on YouTube.

Acura "Transactions"
12,417,801
Honda "Matthew's Day Off"
10,913,584
Audi "Vampire Party"
3,468,337
VW "The Dog Strikes Back"
2,984,829
Toyota "It's Reinvented"
1,601,559
Chevy "Happy Grad"
1,243,390
Chevy Sonic "Stunt Anthem"
465,503
Hyundai "Cheetah"
452,094
Cadillac "Green Hill"
199,803
Lexus "Beast"
140,886

For a full review of the automotive Super Bowl ads, stay tuned as Melanie at the BeCarChic blog and I will be doing our 3rd Annual She Said, He Said Super Bowl Automotive Ad Review.
ShareThis

Monday, January 30, 2012

Ferris Bueller Grows Up and Drives a Honda CRV



Honda has released its full Super Bowl CRV ad featuring Matthew Broderick as a grown up Ferris Bueller. The video is at 307 views right now. I'm guessing it will be over a million before the end of the day.

The trend of releasing your Super Bowl ad a week or so before the big game was one VW did last year with their child Darth Vader "The Force" ad (now at over 49 million views.)  By the time the Super Bowl kicked off, the online video had over 4 million YouTube views with no media driving to the commercial, everything was simply online buzz.

Like the Darth Vader ad, the Ferris Bueller ad appeals to the nostalgia of GenX consumers who are definitely the key buyers of CRVs (and VW Passats too.) So if you are going to go big with your nostalgic movie rights ad buy, the Super Bowl is the platform to do it at.

Also, look forward to next week's post where I'll be doing the Third Annual She Said, He Said Super Bowl Analysis with Melanie Walker Batenchuk over at the BeCarChic blog.

ShareThis

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who Knew Headlights Could Be So Cool?




The Super Bowl is quickly approaching and we are starting to see the ads show up online.  One of the more entertaining examples is Audi's latest featuring the S7 and campfire party full of vampires. 

One of the more difficult tasks of a marketing team is finding creative ways to make keyless entry, moonroofs and headlights interesting as part of a larger marketing campaign.  Featuring something pretty much every car in your segment has is not the most compelling product advantage, but there it exists in the Creative Brief... HD Headlamps. 

Audi's creative team had some fun with a rather mundane feature. Cue the 80s Echo and the Bunnymen song and add a group of attractive college aged Twilight-esque party-goers then find your creative hook that brings it all to an entertaining, unexpected end.

Brilliant. Nice work Audi.
ShareThis

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Toyota What the--?!




There are some things I just do not get. Perhaps it's more about turning 40 years old in about a month or the fact that I haven't read a comic book in 25 years? Whatever the reason, the latest co-branding content marketing concept from Toyota makes no sense to me and in fact leaves a painful grating sound in my ears that is sure to annoy me for the next hour.
What I'm talking about is a video content collaboration between the Toyota Yaris and Marvel's What the--?! which is Marvel's self parody comic book.

Perhaps that is what's so annoying about the content. It is self-deprecating parody from the comic book company instead of someone else mocking them.  Add the self-mockery with some automotive brand advertising and you get something quite odd. Leaving one YouTube watcher to state the obvious: "I like these but kinda weird."

So what do you think?  Are you a fan of Marvel's What the--!? and I'm not the target here so I'm missing what's cool about this?

Though I do like their mocking of Cleveland (especially after Cleveland mocked Detroit.)


ShareThis