social marketing

GM Reassures Facebook Fans as Rival Automakers Weigh In

Posted by Dale Buss on May 16, 2012 12:20 PM

General Motors' CMO Joel Ewanick made waves this week with the news that he's refusing to buy ads on Facebook until he can be convinced there's any ROI for doing so. The automaker is still committed to engaging on Facebook, as a statement on GM's Facebook page this morning notes:

"Just wanted to let our millions of Facebook fans know, we're still here, and we 'like' you back! We may not be advertising on Facebook at the moment but we'll still be talking with you all daily. If anything, we will be providing more content across our many GM Facebook pages - including Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac - to keep the dialogue going."

He's got some sympathies from brand executives of other automakers who are scratching their heads about the value of actually paying for space on the ubiquitous social site. But most car brands (including Kia and Subaru, as the Wall Street Journal noted) are sticking with Facebook ads as well as in beefing up the content and engagement available that doesn't cost them anything (other than staffers' time or agency fees) on their brands' Facebook pages.

Ford strikes the highest-profile dissension with its cross-town rival in assessing the value of paid ads on Facebook. "We are doing more advertising on Facebook," Matt VanDyke, Ford's director of marketing communications, told brandchannel, "and it is a growing and critical part of our media mix."Continue reading...


Nissan Piques (and Peeks) Curiosity for 2013 Models at New York Auto Show

Posted by Dale Buss on March 27, 2012 04:01 PM

Is it the brand or the products that sell automobiles? Nissan isn't taking any chances.

The Japanese automaker plans to introduce five new models to replace the mainstays of its vehicle lineup over the next 15 months, so Nissan has got the product angle covered. But Nissan USA also is about to launch a new marketing campaign that brings renewed attention to the brand over the vehicles, at least for now.

The new campaign, breaking April 5th (but teased on the Nissan USA YouTube channel) to align with the New York Auto Show, reinforces Nissan's long-time "Innovation" brand persona while at the same time teasing the 2013 Nissan Altima, Pathfinder, Sentra, Versa, and Rogue ahead of their Big Apple premieres.

Ads will use the imagery, common to auto-product introductions, of a sheet covering the new models. While the new Altima, which goes on sale this summer, is revealed, the other vehicles stay under wraps. In that way, Nissan both reminds consumers about its important new launches as well as allows a continuing focus on its brand.Continue reading...

sports in the spotlight

NAIAS Watch: Nissan and Buick Double Down on College Sports

Posted by Dale Buss on January 11, 2012 05:44 PM

Nissan and Buick marketers recognize the advertising juggernaut that the NFL has become. And their brands, like their rivals, are advertising during this month's NFL Playoffs, and many brand are gearing up for record auto-industry spending to advertise during Super Bowl XLVI on February 5.

But Nissan, its Infiniti luxury brand, and GM's Buick brand also have been making a departure from the football-chasing pack by investing more heavily than the rest in special marketing relationships with college sports, both basketball and football. Infiniti and Buick are the car sponsors of NCAA's March Madness basketball tournament.

And in the meantime, Nissan has been ramping up its ties with college football and the Heisman Trophy, signing a new five-year agreement as a "premier partner" with the award that goes to the game's best player each year. "It's a big strategic opportunity for us," Bill Peffer, Nissan's director of marketing communications, told brandchannel. Nissan wil be able to feature the Heisman Trophy in ads, for instance, and bring the hallowed piece of metal with it now on College Football Experience tours that it brings to football-crazy campuses.Continue reading...


NAIAS Detroit Show Preview: A Grand 2012 Launching Pad for Auto Brands

Posted by Dale Buss on January 6, 2012 04:34 PM

The U.S. economic climes are growing about as balmy as the unseasonably warm weather expected next week when global automotive media and industry executives descend on the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. And car brands from Acura to Volvo are poised more than they have been in a few years to try to take advantage of the platform to launch new models, brag about technological innovations, tease with concept vehicles and spin their stories to several thousand curious journalists, bloggers, TV producers and hangers-on.

Overall, NAIAS will feel more like the golden days of yore than a Detroit show has in years. For example, Nissan is making a return to the exhibit after a couple years' absence during the Great Recession. Fuel economy and electrification will continue to be strong themes as they have been for the past few years, but with a slow but steady multi-year recovery in the U.S. market underway, auto brands will be emphasizing "happier" themes such as exterior-design departures and interior connectivity technologies.

Audi plans to use the show to unwrap a concept "Vail" version of its compact Q3 just for the U.S. market, where the company plans to introduce several more models in the years ahead as it tries to supplant BMW as the world's largest luxury-car maker by 2015. Audi sells only about half as many vehicles in the American market as BMW and Mercedes-Benz at this point, but the Volkswagen-owned brand has been growing by leaps and bounds in teh U.S. already. Audi executives have said they're also looking at the idea of making SUVs in the United States as its two German rivals do already.Continue reading...

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