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Marty’s Marketing Minutia: Taking Gas

Memorial Day special edition.

by on May.27, 2011

Nissan's new ad campaign examines a world where everything is powered by gas.

Nissan Leaf ad asks what would happen if everything used gas

Have you filled the tank of your new Nissan Leaf?  Excuse me? Nissan’s new Leaf campaign takes a tongue-in-cheek look at what would happen if everything in our daily lives used gasoline and the problems that would cause. This somewhat different approach comes from the brand’s creative manifesto which, in part asks, “What if everything ran on gas? No electricity. No renewables. Just gas.” Like your alarm clock and your dentist’s drill’

But everything doesn’t run on gas,” the series points out. “Most things run on electricity, which is clan, and quiet and uses fewer parts, and needs less maintenance. Most things can be plugged in and charged up and don’t need a tank or a pump.”

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And the payoff is of course the all-electric Leaf.  When questioned about this approach, Jon Brancheau, Nissan’s vice president of marketing commented, “By using humor and asking the simple question, ‘what if everything ran on gas’ we’re able to rationally make the case that electric cars’ time has arrived.”

The campaign is a full multimedia push using television, online, print and direct marketing to convey the message. And the campaign, which breaks Monday, Memorial Day, takes every day products and situations and injects gas-powered-humor to sell the Leaf with these four :15-second teaser commercials: (more…)

Marty’s Marketing Minutia – It’s All About the Money

March Madness, Tiger Woods, and Sergio Marchionne.

by on Mar.11, 2011

March Madness Has Infiniti & Buick as presenting sponsors

As the regular college basketball season ends, America’s college hoops mania begins, March 13 bringing Selection Sunday, followed on Monday by National Bracket Day, the First Four playing on March 16 & 17 and the Final Four wrapping up on April 2 – 4. All will be covered live and then rebroadcast, replayed, analyzed, reanalyzed for mind numbing hours on a variety of television networks.

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It’s all about the money … naturally.

According to Media Week, CBS signed an 11-year, $6 billion deal for sole broadcast rights to the NCAA tournament. Last year, before that deal had expired, CBS Sports and Turner Broadcasting System formed an alliance that eventually netted them a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with the NCAA. Beginning this year, tournament games will be shown across four networks: CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV, the latter three divisions of Time Warner subsidiary TBS.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Hamsters, hucksters and holidays.

by on May.28, 2010

Kia Responds to Public Demand: Soul’s Hamsters Return

The hip-hop Kia hamsters are making their return.

Those hip-hop hamsters are back.  But we’ll get to the news in a moment.

People either like or dislike television commercials. There’s no such a thing as just okay, all right or average.  Black or white, nothing gray.

The first Kia Soul commercial, (Click Here) became a hit with consumers, said Michael Sprague, the Korean maker’s vice president of marketing, in a phone interview, “It generated over three million total YouTube hits and garnered more Facebook fans than any of its segment competitors.”

I followed up with the question “Is a social network hit equal to the Washington politico saying that every phone, call, letter or email is tantamount to receiving 1,000 calls?”  Sprague’s response was, “Yes!”  Now that’s big time.

The advertising research and creative communities liked it too. It has won major accolades for Kia, whose  advertising agency, David&Goliath, created the first commercial.  Among the kudos: Nielsen’s Top Automotive Ad of the Year, awarded at the 2010 New York Auto Show, and based on direct feedback from consumers. Next month Kia will receive a prestigious Effie Award. High praise indeed.

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Praise however is measured in terms of sales, right?  Sprague noted Kia introduced the Soul, their first car truly aimed at GenY during the worst auto year in history, with an economy in the ceramic receptacle, yet the Soul became the market share leader in its segment in only its second month on sale, and sold more cars than its two chief competitors every month thereafter. The campaign exceeded internal sales goals by over 30%.” Enuf said.

As a former ad guy I had to find out more ‘cause I knew presenting much less selling an idea like this had to be easier said than done.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

Changes, comment, commercial, content and China.

by on Oct.23, 2009

Nissan Refreshes and Updates its 2010 Sedans

A $400 navi should help build demand for the 2010 Nissan Sentra.

A $400 navi should help build demand for the 2010 Nissan Sentra.

Light trucks may still be a critical segment of the American market, but passenger cars for Nissan are down just 18.6% compared to the industry’s drop of 26%, so far this year and are a very important category to the company. Despite the economic climate Nissan has increased its total market share to 6.7%, for the calendar-year-to-date, and has made a major investment to “refresh and update” its sedans, Maxima, Altima, Versa and Sentra.

Citing extensive enhancements to their exteriors – a family resemblance in grills and front fascias — and interiors, along with new content packages and an emphasis on value, technology and entertainment – every model has been updated to some degree. Here are the key changes:

Get All the Big Stories - and the Minutia!

Get All the Big Stories - and the Minutia!

Maxima  — new 7” color video display for Navi and other technologies, including the new rearview camera, a 2GB music server, iPod net, DVD playback, Bluetooth, streaming audio and XM Nav/Weather, USB connectivity, and two new exterior colors.


Marty’s Marketing Minutia

This week’s facts, flakes, famous and fatious.

by on Apr.17, 2009

Where is the “D” in NAIAS?

Who says the annual North American International Auto Show has to be held at Detroit's Cobo Hall?

Who says the North American International Auto Show has to be held at Detroit's Cobo Hall?

The “Big 3″ have become the “Detroit 3″ and quite possibly, depending on the next few weeks, evolve into the “Detroit group of 1″ so why is it so damned important the North American International Automobile Show continue its reign at Cobo Hall in Detroit?

It’s not! This is a knee-jerk, xenophobic reaction to an important economic brouhaha that continues unabated in the State of Michigan’s judicial system. But, I suggest, in the court of automotive opinion is the real judiciary – the car companies with the $$$ — are getting a little tired of the tired, costly, dumpy, leaking roof venue and the appalling lack of attention their needs have been addressed.

Just a few miles North via I75 or Woodward is the former home of a testament to bad, inept  management and the one time home Detroit’s toothless Lion’s – the Pontiac Silverdome .

A vast structure with great parking, restaurants and hotels nearby, and great road access. It’s empty. Useless. And is up for sale.  Or could possibly be acquired through eminent domain.

While it’s too small for a full auto show, it could provide the basis of a venue to be developed with the $300 or so million waiting for use.  Hire a sensational architect. Build something really great. Make it the worldwide showplacefor new vehicle introductions. Oh, and hold it when the climate is much better, like during the Dream Cruise? Hmmm. Wouldn’t that be nice?