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McBlog: Why Joy Costs

Musing to amuse on a washboard road.

by on Nov.14, 2011

The Hyundai Genesis is a delight, says columnist McCluggage, until it hits a washboard road.

I muse to amuse myself. Subject: What particular aspect of development in Asian cars trails European cars the most? I drive and I think. My decision: the suspension systems in Asian cars, specifically the fast improving Hyundai/Kia line-ups, are lacking in the sophistication of the European cars, most specifically the Germans.

I’m thinking in particular about the ability of a suspension system to benefit a car with a smooth, comfortable ride that Americans consider a birth right and yet be able to follow the surface of the road closely enough to afford reliable grip and secure handling.

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I see this as making sure the four contact patches are always as much alike as possible. (A good way to drive, too.) Of course the patches swell and shrink as weight is shifted with steering, braking and accelerating, but any extreme variations means a car is not moving with balance. And dynamic balance, as in any sport, is a good indication of how you’re doing as a driver. Or a car as a driven.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

No "Joy" as BMW's ad agency resigns.

by on Oct.25, 2010

BMW's Joy campaign generated plenty of complaints but was that to blame?.

The announcement seems almost unreal, like a promo for the popular TV series, Mad Men, rather than an actual press release.  But after reading it a second and third time we realized this wasn’t a fictional ad agency shake-up but a very real parting of ways between two of the most closely watched partners in the business.

“BMW and GSD&M Idea City will end their relationship after the current contract expires,” went the report. “We thank GSD&M for their contributions over the last five years. They have been great partners. However, we have a number of agency partners, both in the US and globally, that provide high quality work. We look forward to continuing to work with this team of great agencies now and in the future on a wide range of dynamic new products, technologies and initiatives.”

Over the past few days there have been plenty of rumors about what precipitated what had seemed to be a mutually satisfactory agency–client partnership.

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The short list of viable explanations starts with the untimely death of BMW’s respected vice president of marketing, Jack Pitney, a vocal proponent of the Omnicon shop, who was killed in a freak accident on the farm he liked to work in his off hours.  His relatively unknown successor, Dan Creed, goes the argument, hopes to imprint his own name on the brand with an agency of his own choice.