Tag Archive | "car advertising"

Too Many Cars?

Since the beginning of 2013 Motor Blogger has reported on all the various car shows from a round the world and we’re not finished yet because there will be plenty more before the year is out. It seems that barely a month can go by without there being a flock of new cars and concepts for our delight and delectation. This is a good thing.

Or is it? In 1909 Henry Ford was quoted as saying, “Any customer can have a car painted any colour that he wants so long as it is black.”

The Ford Model-T was a people’s car and the grand old man of motors knew that what his customers wanted more than anything else was, basically, a ‘faster horse’. Buyers were content. What they didn’t ask for was a ‘floating roof’ or a choice of a zillion different colour schemes or a communication device that can hack into NASA.

Such is progress. Car manufacturers have already effectively built the ‘perfect’ car. They are generally well made and reliable. There really isn’t much further they can go with the internal combustion engine and four wheels. So they look instead for other ways to relieve us of money. New car buyers have the chance to individually customise their purchases without giving any thought to its resale value. Trendy infotainment centres make the flight deck of the Enterprise look like a crystal set. The car has ceased to be transport and become a lifestyle accessory.

As if that wasn’t enough, we are now offered a bewildering choice of different models from different manufacturers that pretty much all do the same things in the same way. A new variation is always just around the corner and a stream of ‘concept cars’ with increasingly daft names tee us up for what is to come. Enough already! We don’t want all this. It is hard enough for most people to put a vehicle on the road at all without having to consider whether or not a chequerboard roof will match their underwear or go down well at the pub.

Unquestionably, the car companies have worked wonders giving us frugal new cars and designers have managed to squeeze a lot of usable space out of some very small dimensions. This is what we want. Naturally there will always be a market for powerful or expensive cars. There will also always be a market for pointless cars for people with more money than brain cells but the majority of customers just want a car. It needs to be competitively priced, cheap to run, long-lasting, reliable, drive well and get us from A to B as required.

For economy’s sake Renault, for example, have scaled back their catalogue and are the better for it. They have something for everyone without going overboard with a million variations on the same thing. In Henry Ford’s day the car was seen as a modern automotive substitute for the horse. Different manufacturers produced a sufficiency of cars to give a buyer a simple selection to choose from. Possibly today’s manufacturers could alleviate their financial problems in a weakened market by cutting back on all the bling.

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Does Viagra Makes You a Better Driver?

Here at Motor Blogger HQ the place is abuzz with activity. The car show season will soon be upon us and, with all the new models from supercars to electric vehicles soon to be formally announced, we don’t need anything else to get us excited.

We always welcome and respond to comments from our readers but why is it that so many contacts want to sell us Viagra? It’s a mystery to us. Honestly guys, we don’t need it – if you know what we mean – and certainly our red-blooded readership are unlikely to be found wanting in that, erm, department, that’s for sure.

Readers in the UK are also unlikely to need divorce services based in Dallas, Texas and probably won’t order their pizza from the Ukraine. This is the trouble with global communication. There’s too much of it .

There was a time, not so long ago, when, if you needed to buy a used car, you would search the local paper for car sales in your region. Now of course, you search the internet – which is fine – but don’t people understand that in their desire to move product or sell service they are getting a bit carried away with their use of trackbacks and other web devices to get their faces known.

For some things there will always be a global market place. The practice of buying from far-away places at money saving prices is well established and there are certainly bargains to be had. Nevertheless, unless you have specialist needs you are unlikely to buy a car from a dusty forecourt in No Hope Springs, Louisiana. So why bother promoting outside your region?

Sellers don’t seem to realise that it is possible to target online advertising locally. A car mechanic in Brighton is unlikely to be summoned to the Lake District to effect an urgent repair but if he sets his search engine parameters to within, say, a 100 mile radius of his base, then his ranking locally will shoot up to beneficial business effect.

It’s the same when selling a car. Unless what you have is collectible or rare, then buyers will not be coming from any real distance. This is why using websites that target buyers in your area are so handy. It cuts down the competition.

Anyway, thanks to all who take the trouble to get in touch with Motor Blogger. It’s nice to be popular. Yes, we carry advertising too, but it is for goods and services that car owners actually want and that’s the difference. What we and everybody else really need is to not be bombarded by hopeful self-promotion. There’s enough of that in Hello! Magazine.

So if in doubt, buy and sell locally. This way buyers actually get to see the goods and won’t be hassled by pleas from across the planet. Obviously none of this applies to Olga from Gdansk – we appreciate the offer, thanks.

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The Power of the Message

In the 1950’s and 60’s, so I’m told – plus what I’ve gleaned from Mad Men – smoking was not only harmless, it was good for you. Smoking made men smooth and urbane and women alluring and kinda sexy. This is, we all now know, a crock of poo and the truth is somewhat different. Such is the power of advertising and the public opinion generated from it.

Advertising is everywhere and most walks of life now come replete with commercial messages. We don’t even have to think for ourselves. All we have to do is sit on our comfy backsides – stuffing our faces with something we saw on the telly – and be told how to live our lives. From how to dress and what to put on our hair to what our homes should look like and what should be on our drives, practically every facet of our lives is taken care of. Such is the power of advertising as Aleksandr Orlov will be pleased to tell you.

Is it the product we like or would aspire to owning or is it the way in which it is advertised? The snarling TV advertisement for the Skoda Fabia VRS is a case in point. This writer has driven the car extensively and whilst it is a good car and a hoot to drive it will not, as the ad suggests, frighten off opposition from a Porsche, for example. It simply isn’t, as an American might say and if you’ll excuse me, bad-ass enough, despite its promoted image.

Fortunately, advertising is now monitored for taste, decency and accuracy – unlike the old days – and, to a certain extent children are protected from the worst of it but it is a major force in our lives. Car manufacturers know this and succeed with their campaigns because they are, in the broadest sense, truthful. They understand that no advertisement may encourage or condone dangerous, inconsiderate or irresponsible driving. This does not prevent flamboyant driving in scenes which are clearly fantasy or ‘theatrical’ so that the action is distanced from reality, though. They will appeal to our vanity, our common sense and our lifestyles. They will treat men and women differently, which is probably just as well.

So, is it the case that your choices are not your own, despite what you think? Is your mind made up before you even think about it? Are our lives governed by actions that have preceded us? Phew, after a while all this metaphysical stuff pecks at your head doesn’t it; but the fact remains we are sold cars for their perceived qualities and it is up to you, the customer, to make the right decision based on the facts. One thing’s for sure, the power of the message notwithstanding, we do get some great cars these days – and they don’t make your clothes smell.

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