First it was a phone call, “Did you hear?” Then a text, “this can’t be true … can it?” Finally a call, text and email all essentially with the same message, “Look at their media site, it’s up and official, “Joel Ewanick is moving from Hyundai to Nissan as vice president marketing!”
My calls to him were not returned. Voicemail and email messages requests for off-the-record backgrounding to Nissan’s agency EVP account director or to Nissan PR staff were not returned.
The contemporary history of marketing in automobile business is littered with the remains of once celebrated marketers – both men and women with titles of vice president, director of marketing and the now catchy, chief marketing officer – whose careers died from poor vehicles, poor performance under pressure, arrogance and hubris.
However, Ewanick was the poster child of marketing success in a devastated industry. He was the celebrated darling of marketing media, some mainstream media and automotive analysts.
With some amazing products, audacious assurance, and his introduction of “big presence in big venues” ad strategy, Hyundai rose like Phoenix from the ashes of price marketing to a position of prominence. Ewanick was rewarded with many prestigious awards and accolades – in my opinion, all well deserved. (more…)