Duck and cover, folks, it’s time for that annual rite of marketing self-flagellation, otherwise known as the Super Bowl.
By Peter M. De Lorenzo
(Posted 1/28, 4:00 p.m.) Detroit. Clearing the decks after the Detroit Auto Show is always a good thing to do. After the orchestrated image-wrangling and the obligatory statistics-laden car intro speeches (not to mention the endless pontificating going on in the city at the various pseudo events so desperate for gravitas that it’s almost painful to watch), it’s a good idea to just walk away and go sit in a quiet room somewhere and really think about what just happened.
As in, did we really learn anything? As opposed to enduring what qualified as just another expertly rendered smoke-and-mirror session, for starters? And who did the most talking to themselves, as opposed to really showing the assembled multitudes in the media something worth considering or talking about? Better yet, what has really changed in the biz, after all of the strutting and mumbling down at Cobo Hall?
I can answer those questions in order: Are you kidding? No. Most everyone. Not Much.
But if we pressed the reset button for this business right now, today, what would be different?
I can answer that one too: Not Much, plus the car companies’ Super Bowl advertising.
To say that I am underwhelmed about car advertising and the Super Bowl is an understatement. It’s plainly obvious that this business takes itself entirely too seriously, and most of the players at the auto companies are so all-consumed with establishing the fundamental veracity of their assorted Belchfire 8s – and are so absolutely convinced that the TV viewing public feels exactly the same way – that they inevitably embarrass themselves more often than not on what is this country’s largest media stage.
Why? Because automotive marketers have a hard time with the concept that the world doesn’t revolve around them (big surprise), and since they eat, sleep and breathe the business, they make the fatal error of assuming that everyone else out in ConsumerVille cares in exactly the same way.
And of course that couldn’t be further from the truth.