Tag Archives: Jeep

Automakers Raise The Platform Of Inspiration

Ahhh, Automakers.  I see you did get that email.  You know? The one where it is agreed that the focus in this first quarter of the year should be on inspiration in the commercials. Honda set things off right with the Civic commercial showcasing new innovations and emoting the feeling that things can always be better. Then, during the Super Bowl, we were treated to extremely long spots focusing more on the members of the military and cowboys than on the Jeep and Dodge trucks they were marketing. The fact that many count the Dodge commercial as their favorite says something – but what that is, we don’t yet know. It seems we’ve reached a trend where inspiration becomes the platform for awareness and connection with cars – and association is almost as strong as what’s under the hood.

HondaBetter

For those who remember Paul Harvey and loved listening to his radio broadcasts, the subject of his talk could have been about toothpicks and he would have made it inspirational. Play him talking about God making a farmer over beautiful images, and there might not have been a better connecting inspirational moment for its intended audience. The fact that it was effectively a two-minute slide show with voice over takes it to another level with its simplicity amid the pandemonium of the big bowl game.

Going directly for the heart-strings, Jeep clocked in at 120 seconds with Oprah guiding us through our wait for our armed forces to return home. And, there were a couple of compulsory shots of the actual car they are selling. It seemed the seed was planted by Chrysler’s spot in last year’s super bowl stating that Detroit (and America) was back.

Other than the Millions of views those two longform spots have received on YouTube in the two days since the Super Bowl, it remains to be seen what will be done to build on them.  But the onslaught of inspiration has been taken to the next level by Honda and its Civic model.

Tying into every big social media platform, Honda is leveraging its inspiration into a content play surrounding innovation.  The social media program is called the #HondaInnovator Series and it sets off to provide more information about the innovators in its spot.  With a slew of programming across Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter and YouTube to distribute content and enable interaction, they’re hoping to also generate buzz around the 2013 Honda Civic.

Though it’s not clear how many people will show up for the hour-long Tweet chats with the innovators featured in the spots, Honda will end up with a bunch of content that indirectly touches on their product. To a certain extent, the sky is the limit on where they could take this new-found content stream. Though I don’t believe its the same, it feels sort of like the moment that ESPN decided to create the X Games – but that had sports at is core. Maybe a better example was when MTV decided to air a reality TV show about kids living together – perhaps they all liked music.

Regardless, the opening up of a single commercial concept to create more content and enable more touch points with consumers is a strong one.  Honda’s tie to innovation is as strong – if not stronger – to its product than Jeep’s tie to our military and veterans or Dodge to God, cowboys and Paul Harvey. Let’s now take a moment to reflect on the proliferation of content converting to market share…

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Affinity and Loyalty – Never Underestimate the Experience

There’s a couple solid years of service left in my Lexus, but the wandering eye has come into play – big time.  The funny thing is what I’ve been focusing on.  First of all, its a brand that I have disliked immensely in the past.  There was a point where I would have never wanted it because I didn’t like what I thought it stood for, felt the seats were uncomfortable, felt it was pretentious, boring… need I go on?

I could say my change in taste is based on new design and technology coming off their conveyor belt, but then some of their new designs are pretty tacky. It could be because I’m able to afford the pretentiousness and therefore are pretentious, but who would admit that?  I really believe it has to do with actual experience – not the experience of life or growing up, but an actual experience which ingrained an affinity or loyalty in something that I have never owned.

The auto-maker I’m referring to here is Mercedes-Benz.  I do have a strong liking for other brands like BMW, Audi, Lexus (which has been very good to me) and even Chrysler, Jeep and a couple others, but I’m actually finding myself to have an emotional response to Mercedes-Benz because of an interactive experience.  The experience was in Germany a few years ago.  I was fortunate enough to have been upgraded for free to a Mercedes for my ventures on that amazing thing called the Autobahn.  The car drove beautifully and barely even shook when I drove faster than humans without roll cages, helmets and other safety equipment should dare to do – its a good thing my wife was asleep in the passenger seat.  The other factor was our visit to the Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart.  I never knew that a museum about cars would be as beautifully represented as the museum was, but this one proved it and we spent hours there.

What I can do with certainty is point to those two elements from a trip to Germany over 3 years ago as the reason for my feelings now.  Again, I was not in the frame of mind for purchasing a car then.  I wasn’t even thinking about what kind of car I could want – it was all about a great experience.  The experience was not within any purchasing cycle, season or other.  It was just a solid experience.

So, whether you think you are a brand or not, or whether your product or brand is relevant at certain periods in the year or a person’s lifecycle, there is nothing as powerful as the Experience to increase the possibility of future sales.  Sometimes you have control of that experience (like the MB Museum) or sometimes, it’s luck ( the MB rental upgrade) but what you can control is the enabling of Experience.  Much like I look at Non-Profit events as enabling people to give where they might not have otherwise, Companies should always be mindful of how can consumers can be given the opportunity to have good experiences with their brand or product, because that’s where Affinity and Loyalty come from – not just shiny ads or logos…