Ghosn Sees Huge Potential for Nissan to Take More US Market Share

Posted by Dale Buss on November 20, 2012 11:41 AM

Nissan's Facebook page says it all: "Doing things right is hard work." And Carlos Ghosn, the CEO of Renault-Nissan, is encouraging his executives to roll up their sleeves and keep working on ambitious market-share targets that he still maintains for Nissan's growth in America.

He has held out Nissan's US market share goal at 10 percent, while its current share is just shy of 8 percent. For the year to date through October, Nissan sales were ahead of year-earlier levels by more than 10 percent, including about a 20-percent boost for the Infiniti luxury brand — despite effects of Hurricane Sandy that disrupted Nissan's crucial northeastern-U.S. market, and despite the strong comebacks of arch-rivals Toyota and Honda.

Ghosn, of course, is setting the bar higher. "We are still not at our potential," Ghosn told Automotive News. "We can be at a much higher operational performance level. We're driving to that. When we approach [the necessary levels] we can [attain] 10 percent market share."Continue reading...


Del Monte Touts Freshness with "Bursting with Life" Tagline and Ads

Posted by Dale Buss on November 7, 2012 12:41 PM

Thanksgiving is coming up. And while cans of vegetables will last for years, Del Monte decided that the timing couldn't be better to remind American consumers about the easiest way to elbow onto the Turkey Day table with side dishes worthy of the buxom bird: get them out of a can. Preferably a can of Del Monte vegetables.

So the brand is launching its most extensive and expensive ad campaign in a decade, under the tagline "Bursting with Life." The idea is to emphasize the freshness of Del Monte vegetables — an attribute that consumers don't naturally associate with foods that have been preserved in a cylinder of metal for weeks or months.

While they're not trying to make eating your veggies (let alone canned veggies) sexy, Del Monte hopes to claim a bigger share of mind stomach of a collective American household that at least is thinking more about vegetables these days, and the nutritional value of consuming them.Continue reading...

ad watch

Chrysler Rolls Out Latest 'Imported From Detroit' TV Commercials

Posted by Shirley Brady on November 5, 2012 06:04 PM

Chrysler released a trio of new "Imported from Detroit" commercials touting the 2013 Chrysler 300: "Show up," above, and below, "A Title You Can Earn" and "Advice." The automaker is planning a special edition of the Chrysler 200 with Eminem, whose 2011 Super Bowl commercial for the brand introduced the tagline.Continue reading...


"Chevy Runs Deep" Tagline Faces Being Deep-Sixed by GM

Posted by Dale Buss on November 2, 2012 12:59 PM

Chevrolet has been coming up with one spiffy new car model after another. Its Cruze, Sonic and now Spark small cars have been big hits; its Equinox crossover continues to sell well; the Volt plug-in now is reaching nearly 3,000 sales a month; and the Chevy Silverado continues to sell strong.

Yet for October, GM's monthly sales tally showed that Chevrolet had the lowest sales uptick of any of the four GM brands, just 2.7 percent, while Chevy's overall sales rose by 4.7 percent over a year earlier. For the entire year to date, Chevy did outperform each of its siblling brands.

But the question remains: Is there some reason Chevy isn't doing better as a brand amid ever-rising gas prices that favor its largely fuel-economic fleet?Continue reading...

political season

Never Mind the Grammar, Obama Campaign Says You've "Gotta Vote," America

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 22, 2012 11:22 AM

Despite our objections over the poor grammar, Barack Obama's campaign is promoting "Gotta Vote" as its voter registration slogan with and new spots released today featuring Barack and Michelle Obama.

political season

Gotta Vote? Jay-Z's Obama Endorsement Highlights Bud Light, Too

Posted by Shirley Brady on October 16, 2012 10:17 AM

Timed to tonight's townhall debate with CNN's Candy Crowley moderating, the Obama presidential election campaign released this commercial starring Jay-Z, titled "The Power of Our Voice." That voice, as described by the campaign:

Gotta vote? Go here: http://OFA.BO/7WVtHh

Jay-Z shares why it is important to exercise your right to vote and how President Obama represents the power of our voice. 

As Jay-Z shares:

"For so long, there was this voice that was silenced out there as far as exercising your right to vote. I think it was a voice that was silent because people had lost hope. They didn't believe that their voice mattered or counted."

"Now people are exercising their right, and you are starting to see the power of our vote. He made it mean something for the first time for a lot of people."

So is "Gotta vote?" the new "Got milk?" And why is it a question instead of a call to action — "Yes, you've got to vote!" 

The commercial highlights Obama's cameo-by-video during the performer's Bud Light-sponsored Made in America Festival concert, which took place last month in Philadelphia, where the Brooklyn Nets co-owner was emblazoned with logos for the team.

There's also an iPhone hoisted (by Beyonce - watch for the blue nail polish - at the :34 mark), and of course the Obama-Biden logo at the end.


Chrysler Aims to Change Conversation With Eminem, Broadway, Fashion Editions

Posted by Dale Buss on October 12, 2012 03:31 PM

Chrysler was relying on smoke and mirrors for a while as it bid to come back in 2009 and 2010 from its bankruptcy and rescue by the U.S. taxpayer and Fiat.

But increasingly the company is turning out worthy brand-new or substantially overhauled models, such as the Dodge Dart and the new Chrysler 300 and Jeep Grand Cherokee. And it's those new vehicles that are fueling the company's continuing ability to post year-over-year healthy monthly sales increases after many pundits thought the strong comparisons of 2011 would be too much for Chrysler to overcome.

To build on that momentum, Chrysler is developing what it's calling "buzz packages" — special versions of nameplates that connect in a pyschographic or marketing sense with subsets of the overall markets for its increasingly successful nameplates. In its buzziest buzz package, Chrysler will roll out an 8 Mile edition of the Chrysler 200 sedan in partnership with Eminem.Continue reading...

brand vs. brand

Is Taco Bell's Cantina Bell Menu Good Enough That Chipotle Will Say "No Mas"?

Posted by Dale Buss on October 5, 2012 03:33 PM

Yes, making gains at breakfast is nice. So is the fact that nobody talks about the hit job on Taco Bell's beef from a while back. But now the Yum! Brands stalwart is finally getting the kind of feedback that brand stewards really have been craving all along: Americans are mentioning "Taco Bell" in the same jalapeno-laced breath as "Chipotle." Thanks largely to the Cantina Bell menu that it introduced in July, Taco Bell perceptions are climbing among American consumers, according to new research by the YouGov BrandIndex.

Created by celebrity chef Lorena Garcia — featured on the recent season of Top Chef Masters on Bravo, which hyped her Taco Bell tie-in during commercial breaks —the chain's new Cantina Bell menu brings eight new ingredients to Taco Bell including whole black beans, cilantro rice and fire-roasted corn salsa — exactly the sorts of staples that have garnered Chipotle's fresh-Mex menu such high regard. Garcia even recently visited fields in California to show where and how Taco Bells gets its cilantro.Continue reading...

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