It’s the oldest conundrum in marketing, and the reason most agencies exist.
Clients have a product to sell, in which they are (usually) justifiably proud.
But is the exclusive display of that product’s virtues enough to draw a demand response from its market?
Maybe it isn’t. But the budgets and investment in the automotive trade are such that the default conclusion is often to allow the product to dominate.
This explains those ads with the hero motor passing unscathed down burning country roads, through CGI disaster landscapes and collapsing urban environments, unmarked and glossy, just like in the showroom.
Maybe it’s time that the marketeers tried sitting in the passenger seat, and learned to identify a little more directly with the emotional relationship that buyers have with their transport.
This was our rationale few years back, when we pitched for the Kawasaki bikes business, against no lesser giant than McCann; instead of great big glamour shots of shiny machines, we spoke directly to bikers feelings about their transport.
Each machine tends to become an extension of each rider, a buddy, a mate, with an character and personality all of its own. Why not express the new range that way, we said, market how the bikes feel rather than just the way they look?
This campaign not only secured the business, it did wonders for the position of the brand in a highly competitive marketplace.