The Dr. Pepper Democracy

2 12 2008

It was free soda, if you logged on before the Dr. Pepper web servers crashed. It was free promotion without a contract, if you didn’t piss off Axl Rose by NOT delivering on the promise of free soda.

Guns & Roses long-awaited album, Chinese Democracy, despite the publicity, has still failed to scorch the sales charts.


Advice that worked for us…

20 11 2008

Take the time to rethink your relationship with your clients, empower them to help choose your agency’s destiny. Understand how you can work together now, through the difficult financial times ahead and well into the future. Solidifying partnerships SHOULD be the easy part, knowing when you can expect work and payments aren’t such an easy part.

Scion’s marketing success

20 11 2008

We’re HUGE fans of Scion. Toyota’s product strategy became a decision to create a brand that empowers a hard-to-reach consumer with a platform that delivered in individuality and customization. It was remarkable, it was unheard of, and still – it hasn’t been repeated by any of the big 3. Scion’s success in their targeted marketplace is outstanding. Here it is, summarized by Jeffrey Rayport at the CTAM conference.

Detroit: keep praying.

19 11 2008

For going on six or seven months now, GM’s been trying to sell Hummer. No buyers. Perhaps if gas was still $2/gallon… (what? it is?)… you get what I mean.

Hummer helped to make GM the eco-villian, eventhough GM’s SUV lineup was already heavy on Blazers, Tahoes and Escalades. Was the H2 a poor vehicle? Nope. It could drive over almost anything, with confidence, in style. Did that translate to what American carbuyers wanted? No. Hummer was an inflated marketing creation, neatly positioned to make itself a signature brand in the GM portfolio. But, as time drags on, we look back and see how truly out of touch GM got with American car buyers’ needs.

If I were GM and I were looking to offload Hummer, I might look at places where the roads are dirty, sandy, hilly and where the oil spits from the ground like a geyser. I mean, who needs ultra-luxury that’s always over the top? Dubai, do buy.

Soccer mom’s get in the business.

14 11 2008

Consider the minivan and all it’s been through. A novel idea by the folks at Chrysler some 26 years ago, the minivan gave families a practical mode of mass transport. Through the years, moms added things like remote sliding doors, retractable seats and even tv sets and then dvd players and video games. Hauling the kids became her ‘job,’ thus the minivan became her identifiable feature around soccer parks nationwide.

Today, all manufacturers included, minivans sold in a year total almost a million and some change. SUVs took a foothold in American driving culture, giving roominess and hauling capacity and the development among the auto makers boomed. New models were launched each year and the SUV got bigger and bigger. A gas cruch brought ‘crossover’ vehicles into the foray, yet the minivan was still waiting in the wings, still selling around 70,000 unites a month.

This past week, VW has decided that the soccer mom, a figure so prominent and synonymous with traveling and hauling precious cargo, should lead the charge in it’s new viral video attempt. VW’s “Road to the MLS Cup” begins with the #1 soccer mom picking up the MLS cup “handler” and taking him (and the cup) aross the country (and ironically, despite her checklist, she’s forgotten her kids at soccer practice).

NASCAR and the US Automaker dilemma.

12 11 2008

With the US auto industry in near wreckage, NASCAR faces it’s biggest, darkest cloud in it’s storied history. GM stock is at a 7 decade low, Ford is under $2/share and questions exist about an auto industry ‘bail out.’ Will NASCAR commit back to US automakers like the automakers committed to NASCAR? The machinery, engineering expertise and finances that get poured into the sport total upwards of nine figures every year. US automakers have been winning on Sunday, but haven’t been selling on Monday.

The US automakers’ biggest marketing machine is sputtering. While the perceived ‘value’ of a GM involvement in NASCAR and NASCAR development is ‘good’, the return is coming by way of auto sales. A possible start: NASCAR teams can start to show their marketing model isn’t broken by reinforcing the automakers’ involvement and more prominently displaying Ford, Chevy and Dodge emblems and logos.

The mobile platform.

11 11 2008

According to Contagious magazine, Visa is in partnership with Google’s mobile platform, Android. Phone users can sign up to receive offers from marketers (small and large companies) that will be delivered directly to their mobile phones. Visa is interested in facilitating the transaction, and helping merchants along the way. So, in due time, Fred from Fred’s Shoes will be able to send customers coupons for the freshest kicks straight to their mobile handset. Big, young market on phones these days, will Android be their mobile platform of choice?