February, 2012

With Yet Another Misleading Commercial, Chevy Runs Deep – Into The Red

GM should've listened to Lincoln.

“You are entitled to your own opinion,” the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan once said, “but you are not entitled to your own facts.”

The Chevrolet Division of Government Motors begs to differ — and is getting slammed in the marketplace as a result.

Hot on the heels of their latest misleading commercial for their worst-selling model — a Volt spot ironically titled “Just the Facts” — comes an Edmunds estimate of February domestic car sales and car sales over the past 12 months. And guess which manufacturer is taking it on the chin.

A loser in a sea of winners

With a seasonally adjusted rate of 14.4 million units February to February, the auto industry had a banner year. With nearly 1.1 million units sold in February, car makers had a banner month.

All except one, that is.

Ford’s adjusted 12-month sales are up 13.6% and Chrysler’s a whopping 27.2%, but GM’s are down 8.8%. That’s a 36% spread. For the month just ending, Edmunds sees Ford up 18%, Chrysler up 32.5% and GM down 5%.

Bad advertising loses sales

While you can attribute those results to many things, GM’s advertising has to be one of them.

Commercials for GM’s largest nameplate have actually created sales for competitors, according to a Kelly Blue book analyst. Read more →

Iad: Steve Jobs’ Last Blunder

Hubris is a lousy business model

Apple just announced it’s slashing the annual minimum commitment for advertising on its iAd mobile ad system. Again.

Now a mere $100,000 annual commitment lets advertisers run campaigns in iPhone and iPad applications. While that’s a fortune to local Richmond advertisers, it’s a pittance compared to what Apple was originally charging.

When Steve Jobs unveiled iAd in 2010, its minimum requirement was a cool $1 million a year. Last year, that dropped to $500,000 and later to $300,000. Today, it’s just a tenth of its former self.

Moreover, they’re giving application developers a larger cut of ad revenues from their apps — 70% instead of 60% before. And instead of charging advertisers twice — once per 1,000 ad impressions and again for each click — they’ll now just charge the cost-per-thousand rate.

iAd’s comedown is part of a bigger Apple pattern, right out of Greek tragedy.

Hubris begets nemesis

In the classic Greek tragedies, the hero’s hubris — extreme haughtiness, arrogance or pride — always provoked nemesis, a poetic-justice-like form of revenge. And hubris is the perfect word to describe the Jobs style.

When introducing the Macintosh in 1984, Jobs chose to keep its architecture closed to software developers, so that Apple could wring not only hardware money, Read more →

Chevy Silverado Super Bowl Commercial Creates Huge Consumer Response – For Ford

Make sure your competitive advertising doesn't hit you in the head.

There are times when your best pitch can boomerang. A few minutes before 7 PM on Super Bowl Sunday was one of them.

That’s when a commercial for Chevrolet’s Silverado pickup truck aired to a record audience of an estimated 111.5 million people.

The spot was set in the aftermath of the world apocalypse that a Mayan calendar predicted for this year and depicts the Silverado as one of only two manufactured artifacts durable enough to withstand the cataclysm (the other being Twinkies).

In it a Silverado turns on its lights and drives through a landscape so devastated, it resembles downtown Detroit (the city that the Clint Eastwood Chrysler spot said was the model for “America’s second half”) to a meeting of about a half-dozen Silverado owners.

Here’s where the boomerang starts

“Where’s Dave?” asks one of them.

“Dave didn’t drive the longest-lasting, most dependable truck on the road,” another conversationally replies, “Dave drove a Ford.”

A funny thing happened on the way to the showroom

That little zinger drove tons of pickup buyers to the showroom, all right — but not quite the one Chevy had in mind.

According to a statement just released by Ashkay Anand, a Kelly Blue Book marketing-intelligence web analyst, the commercial produced an immediate decline in interest in the Chevrolet Silverado 1500 and a massive surge of hits for the Ford F-150.

Compared with the previous Sunday, January 29, Silverado’s share of traffic to the KBB website dropped 25%, Read more →