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How Carfax Missed a Big Opportunity in Advertising

Over at Automotive Digital Marketing, there's been a long discussion started by Jim Zieglerabout Carfax and its place in the automotive community. I haven't chimed in because, quite frankly, I'm not needed there. The discussion is self-perpetuating and there's no shortage of opinions.

 

It did, however, catch my attention strictly from an advertising perspective as they have an ad out that misses on more cylinders than I thought was even possible. This physics-bending ad is intended to position Carfax as some sort of secret weapon to be used against car dealers. It isn't, but that's not the main reason why the ad fails so miserably.

 

First, the video itself:

Did you see the biggest problem with it?

Car salespeople are still stuck in the 80s, according to this video. The CarFax advertising team had a big opportunity to introduce the reality of today's car buying experience, and that reality is that dealers look at Carfax very closely themselves. They do not want to put out a vehicle that won't pass with flying colors. Most use it as a selling tool, a vote of confidence that they stand by their product. To position dealers as the enemy is foolish, mostly because there are plenty of people who feel that if something is considered a potential conflict point, they'll avoid it. Why would you want to make your product appear to be a point of contention during a transaction?

 

There are many challenges with the way Carfax is marketing, but this is the biggest. Be a conduit between dealers and customers. Don't be adversarial to one side or the other.

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‘KONY 2012′ Tops 100 Million Views, Becomes the Most Viral Video in History [STUDY]

shWith more than 100 million views in six days, Kony 2012, a 30-minute documentary about Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony, has become the most viral video in history, according to one researcher

In a blog post, Visible Measures found Kony outpaced other record-setting viral videos. For instance the video featuring Susan Boyle on Britain’s Got Talent in 2009, hit 70 million views in six days. Old Spice’s “Responses” campaign didn’t hit 70 million until five months after it launched.

Visible Measures got its figures by tracking not just the original Vimeo version of Kony, but also responses to the video. By March 8, three days after Kony went live, there were 200 such responses, which ran six minutes on average. The video has also netted more than 500,000 comments.

Despite the rapid rise of Kony 2012, the video has brought a shower of criticism to Invisible Children, the organization behind it. Many of the negative critiques have been targeted at Invisible Children’s practices as an organization, not whether Joseph Kony, the leader of the Lord’s Resistance Army, is a war criminal.

SEE ALSO: Documentarians: KONY 2012 Achieved Its Goal

In particular, a Tumblr blog called Visible Children, outlined how just 32% of Invisible Children’s money went to direct services, while the rest went to staff salaries and other overhead.

Invisible Children responded with a blog post outlining its expenses. The post didn’t dispute the 32% figure, but illustrated how another 26% went to “awareness programs.”

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