Brand Actions Sell Harder Than Ads

May 20, 2009

By Michelle Edelman, President @NYCA

Many an ad agency and marketer have spent their research dollars trying to determine the factors that cause consumers to fall in love with auto brands. With US auto makers in real trouble, and consumers squirreling away their dollars, this insight is perhaps more valuable than ever.   carinshoppingcart

That’s why it’s so interesting that last week, a study quoted in Business Week indicated that a single action caused survey respondents to increase their consideration of Ford by 33%. And the action had nothing to do with rebates, new car launches, or a new cool ad campaign.

Prior to the federal bailout, 41% of consumers had a positive perception of the Ford brand, but according to the survey, after Ford declined to take the loan it increased to 63%.

It appears that when a consumer buys a car, they are also buying the company that’s selling it. They want to know that the company will actually be around at the end of the service agreement. Logical.

But this move has brand implications for Ford. Ford is not immune from industry difficulties. But this decision holds a message to the marketplace that the Ford brand is about hard-working American values. That instead of accepting a government handout, Ford is imbued with the grit and grease that toughs out the tough times. In contrast with the banks, who took taxpayer money and proceeded to still spend some of it on golf events and bonuses, Ford is going to weather the storm by its own wits.

In this way, the brand has a measure of integrity and roll-up-the-sleeves workmanship that is analogous to its own core consumers, allowing them to relate and connect to The Ford Motor Company in a way that transcends its advertising. In this way, the company’s behavior has become the most important part of their media plan.

Authenticity and Sports Illustrated

March 20, 2009

From Michael Mark, Creative Director/CEO at NYCA.


They came to me naked. One, then another, each young and pretty, some undeniably beautiful, painted, pouting, all undeniably naked.

It was repulsive.

Even pages 95 and 114-115 left me removed and longing for baseball stats.

These were nude supermodels. I’m a paunchy middle age man. I should be in the basement with a flashlight, magnifying glass and a back up set of batteries.

2009-sports-illustrated-swimsuit-issue-bar-refaeliThe Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Issue was here in my hands and my mind was wandering to the economic stimulus package.

It all was too fake. Not the body parts but the whole idea.

Yes it always had been, only this time I couldn’t fool myself. I couldn’t get away from this was a sports pub! And these girls were selling themselves to me so I would buy next years’ subscription to football, basketball, hockey and Rick Riley.

Even the fantasy of 7 countries, 33 models 83 bikinis couldn’t withstand the harsh context of now.

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