Tag Archives: CNW

Help Wanted: Luxury Brand Advertising

Someone call the ad police!

There’s too many crimes being committed against some luxury car brands.

One example is Toyota’s Lexus brand, a proven player that recently topped J.D. Power’s 2012 CSI ranking in the lux won segment for the fourth straight year.

Here’s the brand’s latest television spot for the new 2013 GS from TeamOne in El Segundo

 

Sorry, folks, but this commercial is a big snoozer that doesn’t do justice to this brand, just like the spot Lexus ran during the Super Bowl this year.

Could these yawn-worthy ads be part of the reason buyer consideration for Lexus is down 11% in the first two months of the year compared to a year ago, according to CNW’s Purchase Path Studies? Lexus also made a big deal about its official marketing partnership with Sports Illustrated magazine’s swimsuit property. It was a no-brainer for Lexus to have a four-page spread in the issue.  Bu the brand also backed several related events,  offered custom integrations for digital tablets and created an iPhone game.

The wildest tie-in was the racetrack Lexus created in the shape of swimsuit model Tori Praver’s body. Consumers can watch online videos of pro drivers zooming around that so-called TORI 500 track or use a camera app to put Tori in their own photos.

No secret Lexus is trying to attract younger males, saying in its press release that the annual SI Swimsuit hoopla reaches more than 70 million people and more men between the ages of 18 and 34 than the Super Bowl.

Lexus isn’t the only offender.

Let’s move onto Cadillac, which  is still airing this commercial for the CTS-V coupe from Fallon that broke last fall

Oh dear. We get the main point Caddy is trying to make here in this :60 spot. But why waste precious seconds with the silly valet tipping scene? That part I don’t get…and if you do please explain it to me.

Despite a slew of lackluster advertising, including a poor showing in the Super Bowl, the GM brand has managed to increase buyer consideration by 6% in January and February vs. the same year-ago period, CNW says.

Congrats Caddy, but please juice up your advertising.

Another lux maker with so-so messaging is Acura, which has had a long string of irrelevant ads with the exception of its over-the-top Seinfeld-Leno Super Bowl spot for the NSX.

Acura just posted its upcoming commercial for the 2013 RDX on YouTube, part of a multi-media partnership with Marvel’s “The Avengers” flick, arriving May 4 in theaters

rp&, a division of the Honda brand’s ad agency RPA in Santa Monica, handles Acura

Consideration for Acura slid by 19% in the first two months of 2012 compared to a year ago, CNW says.

Making some progress, but not there yet, is Nissan’s Infiniti brand, which just launched its new JX crossover with new work from TBWA/Chiat/Day.

Have a gander

Not a big fan of features’ advertising, but the backup collision intervention system seems worth crowing about.

Infiniti couldn’t resist  throwing in the third-row seating in the same spot too!

After losing its way for a while, BMW has made great progress with the launch work for the new 3 Series. Love the humor in this one from Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners

What a fun way to highlight a feature and sure to get chuckles from men who aren’t on the best of terms with their mothers-in-law.

Glad to see BMW making a strong push back to its “Ultimate Driving Machine” ad tag.

As far as the offenders, in at least one case, which I won’t call out, the top marketer is really a sales pro. Moving sales folks into marketing slots is a common industry tradition. But it’s not smart. As I have often told top OEM execs : “You wouldn’t  put a finance expert in charge of design, so why do you  think it’s OK to put a sales person in the top marketing job?”

Sales and marketing, although  usually lumped together in one silo, require  vastly different skill sets. And in today’s increasingly complex communications world, companies with experienced, trained ad pros certainly seem to outperform  their rivals.

It is amazing to me that OEMs still fail to realize this.

Follow me, Jean Halliday, on Facebook and LinkedIn

or on Twitter  @jhal2001

*This post first appeared as Jean Halliday’s Ad Rap in CNW’s monthly, subscriber-only newsletter.

GM’s Advertising Is Disappointing

General Motors has had plenty of time to get its advertising house in order.
It’s been more than a year now since the General moved the account for its biggest brand, Chevrolet, to San Francisco’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partnership. And the one-year anniversary of Fallon, Minneapolis, taking over the Cadillac account, is coming up.
Overall, the work has been a huge disappointment, with only a few shining moments.
A shame really, since what better time for GM to really kick their advertising into high gear. GM should have used this time to clearly define each of its four brands, differentiate them and try to win back American buyers with compelling communications in all channels.
And a bigger shame when you also consider how much GM is spending. The automaker shelled out $542 million in U.S. measured media in the first quarter of this year, according to Kantar. That was enough to rank GM as the nation’s third largest advertiser. GM outspent the three other carmakers in the top 10 – #7 Chrysler; #8 Toyota and #9 Ford. GM outspent Ford by $243 million, Toyota by $235 million and Chrysler by $223 mil.
Arguably, at least two of those other automakers are getting more bang for their ad buck.
Now the grapevine is buzzing that Goodby Silverstein is in the hot seat with GM.
And Fallon had an exodus of its Detroit staffers on Caddy, with less than 10 of its original 22 staffers still standing a couple of months ago. Some of them split on their own; others were pushed.
Is there a Chevy or Cadillac ad that impressed any one of you and made you say “I wish we had done that?” I doubt it.
Even Joel Ewanick, GM’s VP of global marketing, seems frustrated.
During a recent interview on Autoline Detroit, Ewanick confessed he’s been hard on all of GM’s agencies, including Leo Burnett USA on Buick and GMC. (Ads for those two brands aren’t setting the world on fire either.) He said the reason he’s tough on them is he’s looking for consistency in the messaging.
While Joel handed kudos to Fallon for “nailing” Caddy’s new ad theme of “red-blooded luxury” in the first TV commercial early this year, he admitted “we had some trouble getting the (other) ads ready,” and those others were “just okay.”
Yeah, like this one- still airing- called “Raindrops” for the CTS-V. Narrator Laurence Fishburne tells us in the spot: “ When you build the world’s fastest production sedan, you consider everything. Like at 190 mph, even a simple raindrop becomes a powerful force. The Cadillac CTS-V, every detail built for speed and performance, right down to the windshield wipers. We don’t just make luxury cars, we make Cadillacs.”

Windshield wipers? Really? And this has exactly WHAT to do with Cadillac? You gotta wonder what they were thinking.
Actually Sherry Weitzman, national ad manager of Caddy, explains in this behind-the-scenes’ YouTube video that the big idea behind the ad is to show the brand’s attention to detail, craftsmanship and excellent engineering.

But is that what the commercial is really doing?  Not even close.
This YouTube video has only gotten 5,500 views in six months- not exactly a viral marketing miracle by any means.
Seems the Fallon guys just wanted to use their fancy camera. And the commercial is too similar to a Cadillac Super Bowl spot about 7 years ago showing a car driving through rain in slow motion.
At least Fallon didn’t propose an ad with sofas driving down the road, as Bartle Bogle Hegarty in New York did during its short tenure on the account. BBH figured just because THEY thought of Cadillacs that way, the rest of the world still did. Hello!
Speaking of Fallon, Ewanick admitted “it’s never the agency’s fault, totally.” (A main truism of the business rarely verbalized by CMOs) So, he said, the client made people changes at both Fallon and inside GM.
Meanwhile, on Chevrolet, Ewanick gave Goodby a grade of “a solid C” overall. (Ouch!) Although he added “thanks to the Super Bowl, it was closer to a B.”
Were we watching the same Super Bowl with all those so-so commercials for Chevrolet?
At any rate, what compelling advertising have we seen for Chevrolet since then? Can’t think of any? Me neither.
Chevy should be in high gear by now with its new messaging and ad tag “Chevy Runs Deep.” But we’re simply not seeing it. That’s a damn shame. Let’s hope Goodby hits it out of the park for Chevrolet’s big centennial communications.
“You’ll see the work get better,” said Ewanick.
Let’s hope so.
* THIS POST IS ALSO MY CURRENT “AD RAP” IN CNW RESEARCH’S LATEST PULSE EDITION OF RETAIL AUTOMOTIVE SUMMARY.

MAKING TRACKS: MARTIN COLLINS has recently returned to Ford Motor Co. as a general sales manager after 4+ years at Group One Automotive, where he was most recently regional VP in the West. He’s moved back to Michigan to work in Dearborn. Marty started his career in 1985 at Ford where he held a variety of assignments within Ford Division including marketing, field operations, franchising, product development and strategy. He also worked internationally, where he was Northern Regional Manager for Ford of Britain for two years. Welcome back, Marty!