Hooniverse Asks – Do You Understand Automotive Marketing?

For a nation of skeptical consumers trained from birth to hunt for great deals (“why yes, I do need 15 gallons of mayonnaise – look at that unit price!”), Americans are not only conscious of advertising in general, but sophisticated consumers thereof. Take the Super Bowl commercial trend; how many folks save their bathroom breaks for gameplay so as not to miss the latest titillating Go Daddy spot?(Gigiddy!) I remember more about the racist SalesGenie panda and the Audi “Godfather” ads from 2008 then I do about game.
The Doyle Dane Bernbach Volkswagen ads sit at the top of the heap to the extent they’re almost clichéd. They were shockingly unconventional in 1959, and despite being often idealized through that fuzzy lens of retrospect, they did completely change the world of advertising. Just watch the episode 3, season 1 of Mad Men if you don’t believe me. Had they never been done, they’d probably still sell VWs today, although applying the words “ugly” and “lemon” to a modern VW Golf might cut it a little close for comfort.
This video crossed my desk today, so with all of this in mind and without any further editorial comment from yours truly, take a gander and then ask yourself: do you understand automotive marketing?

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23 responses to “Hooniverse Asks – Do You Understand Automotive Marketing?”

  1. bzr Avatar

    To be fair, the JabbaWockeez are pretty sweet…
    [youtube QB-yXInwO9k http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QB-yXInwO9k youtube]

  2. Smells_Homeless Avatar


  3. Alff Avatar

    Unless the point of the ad was that the V8 is cooler and dances better, I guess I don't understand.

  4. OA5599 Avatar

    Of all the cars I've owned in my life, not a single one of them was new enough to have still been under warranty at the time of the transaction.
    I suppose that means I understand automotive marketing a bit more than the marketers would like.

  5. skitter Avatar

    A (deoderant?) commercial portrayed attractive women flying with jetpacks up the user's nose to get to a disco. No wonder I always have awful music stuck in my head.
    And most automotive marketing makes roughly as much sense. I feel like I'm in The Truman Show:

  6. skitter Avatar

    A (deoderant?) commercial portrayed attractive women flying with jetpacks up the user's nose to get to a disco. No wonder I always have awful music stuck in my head.
    And most automotive marketing makes roughly as much sense.
    I feel like I'm in The Truman Show: WHO ARE YOU TALKING TO?

  7. mdharrell Avatar

    So, you're describing their efforts as erratic?

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      crap.. i mistook that for a QX56… got to get better at identifying japanese luxury models….

  8. Jim Brennan Avatar
    Jim Brennan

    And Alex's Original Video is now gone…. at least for me it is….

    1. chrystlubitshi Avatar

      gone for me too… you're not missing much though… it's a sucky car ad.

      1. longrooffan Avatar

        Gone for me know also….what a waste of 2:06 minutes, plus buffering time!

    2. muthalovin Avatar

      Also for me. I have no idea what is going on.

  9. Black Steelies Avatar

    Notice how they only advertise cheap, hum-drum cars to rattle off specs that nobody cares about? Interesting cars like the Raptor, basically any performance car or cars that can be instantly recognized for what they are [i.e. fancy looking luxury cars and sporty looking performance cars] do not need a television spot. Instead they are relegated to car mags for the car-centric minds or just general media product placement on tv shows or movies. I guess we get the message either way.

  10. mdharrell Avatar

    I regularly search out and pay money for advertising specimens of the vehicles I already own, because otherwise I'd never get to see their marketing at all. Clearly I don't understand the first thing about how the system is supposed to work.

  11. Maymar Avatar

    I'm studying Automotive Marketing at school. So, by the end of the year, I should have a piece of paper that claims I understand it.

    1. Alff Avatar

      If you get a job marketing trucks, we'll be here to remind you that you once banned bare chassis hoonage.

      1. Maymar Avatar

        Hah! I'm impressed you remember that. In my defense, the bare chassis hoonage I was banning was that of a C5 Corvette (for which I saw an ad for a stripped frame, with the statement "no test pilots."). Truck bare chassis hoonage I entirely support.

        1. Alff Avatar

          I wondered where that came from – I noticed it about the same time that J featured a video of a crazy Chinese driver hooning a chassis cab and assumed that was the connection.

  12. Tim Odell Avatar
    Tim Odell

    It's about image and associating your product with the right ideas in people's heads to get them into a psychological and emotional state that causes them to rationalize semi-irrational purchasing decisions.
    As I've tried to point out in our reviews, automotive marking is aimed at people who buy cars as consumer goods, expensive transportation appliances. I.e., not us. We make purchasing decisions based on an entirely different set of pseudo-rational criteria, having nothing to do with marketing.
    So, understand it? Yes.
    Affected by it? Not really.

  13. BlackIce_GTS Avatar

    Volkswagen seems to be trying to convince people the Tiguan is a sports car. What the hell, Volkswagen?
    [youtube HMRf0aWyYxg http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HMRf0aWyYxg youtube]
    (there's another one I couldn't find about how it handles really well)
    What was the question again? Oh; no, not remotely.
    [youtube 08MkKOLhB1M http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08MkKOLhB1M youtube]

    1. longrooffan Avatar

      Not to say the new VDub SUV is anything near a sports car but, at least to me, the clever update of the old "Punch Bug" game of yesteryear is pretty clever. "It's a whole new game" is a great play on words.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      Doesn't the Acura RDX classify as a compact SUV? Unless I missed the super rare version of that that gets a standard naturally aspirated engine.