twitter

Car commercials still missing their audience

May 3rd, 2006 | by Klaus Holzapfel |

Rohit at Influential Interactive Marketing had some igreat thoughts on double marketing and mentioned the Golf GTI and the Jetta commercials that ran back to back. (Double marketing means running multiple campaigns on different messages concurrently. )

Yes they are not exactly the same cars (more than some believe, though) but at the end they are fishing in a similar market segment.

But what exactly is that market segment?
The Golf Ads make us believe that the guys with their pimped-up Civics should switch to the 200-240bhp Golf GTI. Sporty, same size, nicer – OK. But, this car, with a few extras is well over 20k. How many college kids are able to afford that?

And how many parents with a clear mind will buy their kids a beefed up compact car that that screams speeding ticket and rear ending? (The Jetta ad makes us believe it is a very safe car but still…)

I somehow hear Honda Element all over again. A very different car – but also geared toward a young audience. What is the average age of the Honda Element driver again? 38!

I imagine showrooms where older guys walk in and the car salesman says: “No, no this car is not for you – you are too old for this. Look at this Lincoln Town Car here in the corner or take the Toyota Avalon if you must.”

I am glad I didn’t run into that sort of trouble when I purchased my Element;-)

Grown ups of all ages still want their sneakers, they want their jeans, the also want hip, cool, practical, fun cars. Whatever it is that makes a car special in their eyes. Plus, people over 30 can more easily afford to buy them.

I think that many marketers still think way too one-dimensional – just because they are so used to it.
Our market is much more segmented than even the most creative people can imagine. The advertising is getting pushed through much more channels. People can’t be just grouped by age any more. We need to think who benefits from a product. We need to ask questions like: why couldn’t my grandmother like that product?

Double marketing certainly won’t cut for all the market segments there are for any give car.

If I had a fraction of the $$$ that only the car industry wastes every year on total thumbs-down marketing I would start an education center for old fashioned marketers who are on the verge of loosing their job. Ever hear of death of a salesman?

Last thought:
I have to admit that I thought that the Golf commercials were hilarious. I am German and I also think Hogan’s Heroes are funny. You see the connection.  But then Hogan’s Heroes isn’t in prime time any more. Too much segmentation, eh?

  1. 3 Responses to “Car commercials still missing their audience”

  2. By Michael Wagner on May 3, 2006 | Reply

    You say, “I think that many marketers still think way too one-dimensional”.

    This is my impression too. Another example of a car appealing outside the anticipated age group is the Scion xB. Old guys like me (I can remember when Hogan’s Heros WAS running in primetime) are seen driving these strange cars in my neck of the woods.

    Your insights are very helpful – thanks for taking the time to enlarge the meaning of marketing and branding in our times.

  3. By stefan on Mar 22, 2009 | Reply

    Iam from Germany, and i must say, thats a very nice Blog.

  4. By Achim on May 31, 2009 | Reply

    Thank for the Artikel.

Post a Comment