I’m fed up. No, really. Fed up.
Ad after ad after ad. First GM, then Ford, now Chrysler parading their latest gimmick around. My buddy Tim calls it The Syphilitic Culture of Cheapness. In a post from April ’04, I compared such behavior to that of a butt-sniffing dog.
Last night, I watched car ad after car ad after car ad after car ad.
US CAR AD: "We’re cheap",
TOYOTA AD: "We’re good",
US CAR AD: "We’re cheap too",
SUBARAU AD: "we turn other SUV’s into dust and rust",
US CAR AD: "I’m Lee Iacoca and we’re also cheap",
MITSUBISHI AD: "You’ll experience the sensation of hot asian chicks beating on big drums when you drive this car"
US CAR AD: "Our other brands are cheap too"
RANGE ROVER AD: "Whew!"
US CAR AD: "Dibs"
I’m embarrassed on behalf of all those GM advertising and marketing folks that they used as "talent" in their ads. That’s right, if you read the fine print as the ad runs, most of the talking heads are from some kind of advertising or marketing capacity, not the factory or engineering department.
This morning in Bloomberg, Doron Levin quoted a Honda official: "We have employee discounts,” said Andy Boyd, a Honda spokesman. "For employees only."
I know if I got another chance to talk to Bob Lutz, he’d tell me I just don’t understand the car biz.
Our family has two Hondas; one’s been going strong for over a decade. What Lutz and the other Detroiters don’t get is that many like us buy Hondas precisely because the brand doesn’t go on fire sales all the time.
The cost of owning a car isn’t just about purchase price. It also is about running costs and resale values. American makes are now in the process of inflicting massive damage on whatever resale values their products have left. What they’re doing mimics the concept of deflation: Why buy now when you can buy later for even cheaper? With such a mentality, they continue to drive their resale values–and consequently their brand equity–into the ground.
Honda maintains its brand equity by avoiding these shenanigans. Savvy owners understand that Hondas make better long-term investment propositions, and this can only become clearer as the employee discount fad continues.
Thanks for stopping by!
Detroit still, after all these years of being beat up by the Japanese, doesn’t get it. These ads create a small blip in sales on a downward curve headed towards oblivion.
But, I can see the ad agencies patting themselves on the back.
Blip Advertising for mediocre products is nothing new. Then again, neither is syphilis.
I’m glad I’m not alone … excellent post on the crap auto makers try to feed us. Employee discount!