Wednesday, June 25, 2014

You Like These Football Players, Right? Then Buy Our Car!

I always find it weird how companies advertise their products either by throwing a familiar face into the TV screen with the person's name under it, or even more pathetic, with the name and description of who the person is (just to make sure everyone understands: this is a famous person, so buy the product!).

Then you read stuff like: Sebastian Vettel (Formula 1 World Champion)

First of all: Those who don't know the person probably won't care what your product is about. It's not like: "Damn! This famous person... so now I have to pay attention, right?"

In the case of the new Hyundai ad, it's kind of weird.

There is an advertisement spot, a TV ad that actually tells a little story about how three famous players ask statues (just go with it), bikers and other people to "get in" their car. So I get the message: It's a call to action and at the same time you see there is a lot of space in the car, presumably for about 20 people.

Okay, but the thing is: I have only seen this ad once and then forgotten about it. The only thing I see every day when I watch TV is the "the world cup is presented by Hyundai" and then the faces of the three players (picture above). That's right: They aren't even showing the ad at all! So much money down the drain.

Then it makes me think: Yeah, so what? There are 3 players. One was not even nominated for the world cup (Kaka), one is already out of the world cup (Casillas) and the other one is yet another brazilian besides Kaka (Oscar). Why did they choose three players who all appeal to the Spanish and South American Community? Why isn't there at least a French, German or English player and perhaps one from Asia or Africa?

It looks kind of lazy to show three famous football players smiling in a car. Of course they are smiling. They are getting paid for sitting in a car for 5 minutes. Hell, maybe they even GET the car for just sitting there with a camera pointing at them. It doesn't give any indication on the car's qualities that famous people are sitting at the steering wheel.

This is something I never understood about cars. I mean: I get it that fashion, perfumes or media products are sold on other people's popularity. It's quick, lazy and profitable for companies. It's lifestyle that's affordable for ordinary people. But a car? I mean, do people actually spend thousands of euros / dollars on something based on a gut feeling? Based on which footballer they like best?

So if you find a bunch of football players (most of whom will suck at the event you're presenting like several years ago), you can just promote your car, even if it's a family car that will probably take some discussion between the family members about financing, price, usefulness etc... well, to hell with a thorough marketing strategy!!!

So... let's pretend I'm the marketing director of a famous german car company. Who's going to promote the new Mercedes Benz?

  • This Suarez guy seems promising. He won't bite the hand that feeds him and I heard he is very fair. This totally fits into the image of our company.
  • We should also get this Cristiano Ronaldo. He shouldn't cost us too much money. He also stands for true sportsmanship and modesty. You know, just the average guy everyone can identify with. A common man.
  • Okay, let's see... world cup 2014... think, goddammit, think.... oh yes, of course.... Maradona! Is he still in the world cup? No? He's fat and old? Argh... I don't care, still hire him. If the guys from Nike and Hyundai use players that aren't actually in the world cup, we can do so too!

As for the TV ad... just show the new Benz in black in front of a white background and these three guys smiling into the camera. The one in the middle should have a football under his foot. Classic! That's it. There's your marketing campaign. What? I'm fired?

The only difference between this little story and reality is that the marketing genius doesn't get fired. He probably gets an Oscar for it. And with that, I don't mean the football player "Oscar".