**A Milesperhr Exclusive**
Let’s talk about sports cars.
First, a definition: a sports car sacrifices utility for driving pleasure, comfort for cornering speed, fuel-efficiency for fun-factor. A sports car has been a purpose-built tool without any concessions to added objectives…at least until recently.
A ‘Hybrid’ or ‘Electric’ production sports car just a decade ago wasn’t just “future-talk,” it wasn’t really discussed at all. There were a few loonies tinkering away in their garages, but manufacturers were not involved in anything more than projects like the original Honda insight…and that couldn’t roll faster than a child’s pedal-powered Big Wheel. Yet presently, we have several of these technological marvels in our midst with many more on the way: the Porsche 918 Spyder, the new McLaren P1, the Ferrari LaFerrari; they all promise remarkable performance and fuel efficiency (get the full specs on these cars by visiting Autoblog Canada). For the first time, a sports car offers every bit of driving euphoria we’ve come to expect, without requiring its own oilrig.
-Objective three: To heighten brand visibility for the primary and secondary audiences from televised content by 80% by December 2012, at a cost of $500,000.
1) Product Placement in season 8 of Curb Your Enthusiasm. This show could be a great opportunity for Bentley to display its newest models on a popular program that portrays the life of a rich and famous individual, Larry David (HBO, 2011). Bentley vehicles would be perfect to reflect the style of the brand’s target audience. Curb Your Enthusiasm has prompted extensive online dialogue from the show’s fans over the past decade, which can allow Bentley to track noticeable increases in brand mentions online (HBO, 2011). With the show’s audience covering a diverse range of demographics, Bentley can spread its visibility, while narrowing its image. People will come to associate Bentley vehicles even more with wealth and success, while discussing the cars and the show on social networks and chat forums. To execute this initiative, Bentley needs to make a product placement deal with Wildfire Studios, the production house of Curb Your Enthusiasm. From there, Bentley PR representatives would need to publicize the deal in digital entertainment magazines, so the target audiences could access the news on computers, tablets and phones.
In a special feature, Maurice Rahmey of BU PRSSA and I debate two ideologies for consumer marketing and branding.
(1) give the customers what they want (Tony Hsieh)
(2) give them something they should want (Henry Ford)
I will take the Henry Ford viewpoint:
Henry Ford once said “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” Unlike Tony Hsieh, Henry Ford built his brand on innovative products and tools customers never knew they needed until they had them.
A MilesPerHr Feature:
I’ve been reading a remarkable book by Jay Elliot, entitled, “The Steve Jobs Way.”
The theme of the book suggests Mr. Jobs turned Apple into such a successful company because each new product he created was molded strictly based on his vision of simplified, superior devices to make people’s lives better. In effect, he would ask, “why not?” innovate and create a dream product instead of incrementally improving current devices.
So what does this have to do with automotive brands? …Be patient, I’m getting there.
**A MilesPerHr Exclusive**
No one can say Ford Motor Company hasn’t made a recovery.
Since the release of the first quarter profits this last week, it’s been obvious Ford is back in a big way.
Here’s a couple POI’s for you about this turnaround:
-Ford was the only US car maker that didn’t need the government bailout
-Ford isn’t just more profitable now that the past 3 troubled years, how about the past 13?
-The only V8 Ford models still made are the F-series trucks, the Mustang, and the Expedition
-Ford uses more new media marketing than ANY other automaker
-Ford CEO Alan Mulally was named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2009, Fortune’s Businessperson of the year in 2010, and just received the Edison Achievement Award
**A MilesPerHr Exclusive**
All auto shows have themes.
Regardless of subtlety, there’s a theme to each one.
Recently, the theme has changed based on the price of gas.
When gas was nearing $3 a gallon 5 years ago, the automakers began cranking out hybrids.
Then when the price of oil dropped 3 years ago, the giant SUV’s returned to the show floor.
This year, the NYIAS showed us something new.
small, fuel efficient vehicles are coming to the US in a big way
Think of all the auto makers who brought out either a sub-compact, smaller engine option, or hybrid:
**Guest Blog on MilesPerHr**
Joy Paley is a science and technology writer based in Berkeley, California. She is also a guest blogger for My Dog Ate My Blog.
Since the invention of the yearly model, car enthusiasts have taken pleasure in waiting with bated breath to see what new innovations would be coming out in the next year. The 2011-2012 season is no different, and is bringing some of the usual fun-but-unnecessary gadgets and tweaks, as well as some serious changes in make and design. Here are my top innovations to look out for in this year’s new models.
Just what is this carmaker trying to pull?
Old folks don’t know what to do with the flashy and powerful models, young folks fear association with an old folks brand, and the middle-aged don’t want all that bling.
It used to be very simple: V8 in the front, leather in the middle, and extensive car in the back.
You bought a Cadillac in the 50’s and ’60’s because it was plush.
You bought a Cadillac in the ’70’s and ’80’s because it was outrageous in style.
You bought a Cadillac in the ’90’s and early 2000’s because you had no other options.
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