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Auto Industry’s Snooze Campaigns Are Getting Tiring
By: Tom Roarty
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If you are a creative, no matter what industry you design for, it is your obligation to develop inspiring, thought-provoking, informative, and aesthetically pleasing campaigns for your clients. This is a common-sense rule and not one that needs to be spelled out. By offering more to your clients, not only do they look good, but you do as well, thus in turn helping your reputation and business grow. However, for some reason, the same rules do not seem to apply in the auto industry.
It is no secret that car manufactures have been hit hard by the collapse of the economy in recent years. If they were unable to develop new commercials, it would be totally understandable, but that is not the case because they are releasing new advertising spots all the time. It would also be successful if there was a formula to transportation ads that has been so successful in the past that agencies would not want to stray from it, but that is not the case either. The fact of the matter is when it comes to the auto industry, especially American-made cars that need the help the most, agencies are just not developing innovative, quality ideas for their clients that are going to make them money.
This is not to say that every car ad is bad or uncreative. Fiat and Kia have done a good job of breaking up the flaccid world of the genre, but are their ads that great or do they just stand out because their competition from a creative perspective is just nonexistent? Maybe the real question is: How do the automakers settle for the same cookie-cutter commercials without pushing their representing agencies to move beyond the mold and come up with something new?
Is a car driving around a track or down a winding road really creating a memorable experience? Or is showing a car sitting on a stage with a voice-over rambling off a bunch of facts so compelling that the average user wouldn’t be able to break away from it? Why can’t agencies see that cars are an extension of their owner’s personality? Most people buy cars that reflect who they think they are or who they want to be. Life is not lived on a closed course, so why are you trying to sell your customers on that concept?
Auto industry, you have been in trouble for a while now. You are not an item most people want to buy, but rather one they have to buy. Try wooing them by showing realistic versions of what your product can do and maybe than you can get close to those unrealistic sales goals you have set for yourselves. Agencies are paid to be creative — hold them accountable and make them do their jobs. Otherwise, that click you hear might not just be the channel changing when your ad comes on...it may be the lights being turned off in another plant …


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