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Saturday, January 08, 2005


The Ad Folly Continued Part 3, Tres, Trois, Drei

Having been critical of the current Ad mantra, I do need to defend the auto ad practitioners at agencies and car companies and dealership. It's always easy to sit back, from the comfort of my warm, cozy blog, as the snow piles up on my suburban driveway. I'd like to take a moment to try and explain how we got here.

Imagine being put in the position of VP Marketing/Advertising at a car company and your job is to promote a car. To get to that point in your career, it's likely you've had to fight your way up the corporate ladder. At most companies, what you've learned is that no one gets punished for doing the obvious...but if you try something, "unusual" and fail...you're career ABS fails in a highspeed turn. This promotes risk aversion. The, "you never get fired for hiring IBM" mantra of days past. Much easier to go the "tried and true" direction. And if it goes wrong well...we did what we were supposed to.

Some examples:

Yes...the corporate safety net looms large. Kind of like strapping yourself to an anvil and swimming...because that's what the previous guy/gal did.

How to fight this? Couple of thoughts:

More on the calculus of word of mouth marketing in the car business next time. Now, I have to go and listen to some more Spanish guitar and flamenco records I found in the garage.

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