.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Jobs (and I don't mean the economy)

If you haven't, read it.  Nuff said.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


Analyzing Ad Agencies or "How to build better car marketing"

Disagree with the tenor of this article by Mr. Zimmerman of Zimmerman Partners, CEO of the Omnicom agency (Omnicom is in a difficult review on the Chrysler account). Generic analysis yields generic results. Car purchase is the most highly considered purchase...other than maybe choosing your spouse/next spouse. You can't build confidence in a poor product with advertising. Just like a fake match.com profile won't fool you in real life.

Advertising is the least influential of all the messages about a car/truck. The most influential is word of mouth, personal experience, testimonials and reviews. None of which can be influenced with super bowl tickets or other form of clever media bribes. Do we really think people watch ads and think, "yeah,...I believe that!"

The experience each of us has with the product, and what we tell our friends and neighbors about it matter 10x of the ad and ad campaign. No amount of advertising could fix the Escort and no amount of bad advertising could un-sell the Camry over the past 20 years. It's a simple mathematical formula that ignores ad budgets and executions. I would argue that Camry has had the worst advertising, consistently, over 30 years. Can't remember any of it. I do remember VW and Jeep ads. Just some very uneven product executions.

The whole, "let's review the agency" circus is counter productive. Basically, most of the people get re-hired at the new agency anyway and get pushed around by clients like peas and mashed potatoes on a plate. However, the executives at the car company and/or the cars themselves...rarely change.

Regarding VW...they had the worst quality of any car for many years running. Although they've improved, there are still many angry former VW owners running around telling shoppers..."DON'T BUY IT."

Here's a thought. Want to improve brand recognition? Give your car a memorable name and make sure it's readable in traffic. By doubling the type size someone can actually say...hmmm...that must be an Oldsmobile Alero.


My point about generic? Chevrolet has amazing durability as a "brand." Think trucks. Very, very loyal group of return buyers. For both Chevy and Ford. The American car companies abandoned the car market a long time ago because they failed in efficiency for decades and failed to compete effectively with Toyota and Honda. Now, they are making a comeback. Watch closely...Both Ford and Chevy have produced some very interesting small cars in the past few years and the quality gap is shrinking...in fact is probably gone. Now the race moves to technology, design and the ability to customize to consumer tastes through variable and lean manufacturing. Advertising is, frankly, the A** end in that equation.

From a Former anti-generic ad guy

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Duracell and Chrysler

Back to the future...Mr. Nardelli is gone and the former head of Duracell is now Chairman of Chrysler.

Most of us forget that the electric car played a large role early in automotive history, until petroleum took over. We're seeing a resurgence in electric and hybrids but the technology is still struggling to become affordable. And, unless most Americans want to make major economic and lifestyle changes, pure electrics have a long way to go.

Back in 1995-6 we wrote a paper on the impact of limited range. Conclusion? Pure ZEV (zero emission vehicle) needed a range of 100+ miles to gain a penetration of over 5 to 10%.

When we did a price sensitivity analysis, we felt that if gasoline went over $4/gallon that people would look for alternatives...mmm. We were surprisingly accurate, 13-14 years ago!

Friday, February 20, 2009


NeoSynergy Shopping Widget

Have been very lazy lately and have not been posting...we developed a great google gadgets that allows consumers to shop for new car and truck specials. You can download and install it via google gadgets. All you need to do is search for NeoSynergy here , install it using the instructions at the bottom of the page.

We also have a google mapplet that maps the location of these deals as well as a google toolbar for best deals.

Would love comments...we are adding more inventory all the time.

Monday, April 28, 2008


Porsche Cayenne it is

Neglected to mention...I chose the Porsche Cayenne S...needed the extra room and AWD for the winter (see garage photo)...and it was the best choice given those requirements. Heard a couple of comments that the Cayenne isn't up to Porsche quality...based on my research, quality was not an issue starting with the 2006 MY forward. Plus...I won't own it past the factory warranty.

It was easily the best handling SUV out there...although it was definitely not, "the best deal/value for the money." The dealership did give me a "great deal." I've had a month in the car now and enjoy it immensely...nothing but good things so far. Still working on getting my I-Phone/I-Pod integration though...Porsche's factory PCM system does not make it easy.

I did look closely at a number of pre-owned (that means "used" in the luxury market) Cayenne but opted for a new vehicle lease.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Car Shopping Continued

Enter the Taurus X Limited...I'd read some good reviews of this vehicle so I decided (against the recommendations of others) to try it out.

Submitted a "price quote request" after seeing a "Best Deal" on our trusted Motoralley site and AolAutos.com and after a week of back and forth (without getting a price; complex reasons, makes my brain hurt) decided to just go to the store and drive the car. I did drive it...my recommendation...never drive a 2006 Audi S4 right before you drive the Taurus X. Mind you, the Taurus is a nice ride...leather "trimmed" seats and all wheel drive with a nice 260+ hp engine...but a completely different ride...

It's not fair to compare the two, but I shall anyway. This isn't a fair column. The Taurus is far superior in things I desire but don't have in the 2006 Audi S4...more room, primarily...and gas mileage. Steering is softer, heavier and the seats just don't compare either. Again...don't forget, the S4 cost almost double...so this makes sense. If only I could find the S4 with more room...shoehorn the Audi 4.2l V8 in the Taurus X, tighten the steering, replace seats, etc. Voila. Unfortunately...Audi doesn't build this car.

Mind you, it doesn't mean I don't like the Taurus X...I do...I just don't like it enough...yet. Need to go drive the Cayenne...(does this sound insane...but this is how I shop). Need to decide, definitively whether I want to spend the extra $ to justify better ride/handling. Of course I will go check out a few others as well...

Sunday, March 02, 2008


Car Shopping? My process...

So, the 2006 Audi S4 lease is due (actually way past due). Have been busy with work, life etc. and have started thinking about the next vehicle...

I thought it might be helpful to others to see how an industry insider figures out what car/truck to buy.

My needs? Perhaps a little more space, and a place to put the road and/or mountain bike. My kids are now teenagers...and too large for the backseats of the S4. The next generation S4 will have larger backseats...but I don't want to wait for that vehicle. So, the choices are...a larger Sedan (e.g. Audi A6 or S6, BMW 530 or 550, Mercedes C class, Lexus GS430 etc.) or an SUV (e.g. Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Audi Q7, Acura MDX, BMW X5, Saturn Outlook).

Where to start? Well...first there's budget. I spoke to Audi and they made a nice offer at low interest rate to get me to "keep" the S4. Audi is trying to avoid a glut of A4/S4 at the auction...they are launching the new A4 and the theory is...too many of the old bodystyle at auction drives down residual values and that equals big losses. More later...

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?