Filed under: Opinions & Commentary
DaimlerChrysler has just backed up what we here at Roadfly.com have been saying for years: Cut out the middle man (print media) and go straight to the people (via Internet). “We don’t have the luxury any more of running print ads and waiting six months to see if they work for us,” said John Lisko of Saatchi & Saatchi, the group that handles Toyota’s account. Chrysler, General Motors and Volkswagen all cut their print media budgets in this year’s round of marketing budgets.
With the Internet being at the fingertips of a ten year old to a one hundred year old, this transition has been a long time coming. In August 2000, the US Census Bureau showed that 51% of all American households have one or more computers, which was a 42% increase from 1998 which also affects the change from print to electronic media. The Brandwear article notes that part of the change is linked to what marketers like Lisko believe: “Print’s lack of accountability is a major reason why auto firms are cutting back.” With the information being one-click away on the Internet, companies can also track the hits per page and the amount of times their pages were viewed, something that print media could not tell you.
VW’s newest media campaign for the Rabbit and GTI relied on TV for the launch, since they cut their budget for print materials by 76.4%. Within the auto industry, print media buys are down by 24% while online buys are up by 51.6%.
Steve Parr, whose corporation Primedia publishes magazines such as Motor Trend confirms this belief, “Automakers are realizing that it’s all about targeted media now…for general publications that’s not so good. Almost all of the [automakers] have reduced print spend in generalist publications.”
Filed under: Fun at Work
(From left to right: Laura Burkholder, Roadfly; Mark Solheim, Kiplinger’s; Janis Little, Mitsubishi; Fred Staab, Cruise Control Radio; Les Jackson, Roadfly Road Test Editor; Max Farrow, Roadfly Road Test Editor)
(Charlie Romero, Roadfly Publisher, test driving the new Dodge Charger Police Package edition around Pocono Raceway)
I had the fantastic opportunity to attend the International Motor Press Association (IMPA) annual track days event this year held in Pocono, PA. I was ecstatic to hear that all of the automakers brought the best and the brightest of their current lines, and we, the journalists had the opportunity to test them on various conditions, from the open road to the Pocono Speedway.
The first day’s festivities started with an off-road course put on by the generous folks of Land Rover. Land Rover was nice enough to bring three of their vehicles, a Range Rover, Range Rover Sport, and an LR3, as well as instructors on how to handle the course and the obstacles. You were then free to hop into any of the 20 or so SUVs or trucks that were provided by manufacturers like Jeep, Toyota, Suzuki, Kia, Nissan, Audi, BMW, and Ford.
Down hill from the off-road course, were two to three cars from all of the auto manufacturers which they graciously allowed us to take for a spin around the resort and the local roads. A nice cocktail hour and dinner followed the day’s events.
The next day, everyone a bit exhausted, swarmed the Pocono Speedway for a day of pushing the cars and trucks on the racetrack. Pit row had been taken over by many of the cars from the previous day, and once again, you could hop in any car and wait for your turn to get on the track. MINI and Tire Rack also teamed up for an autocross course where the winner took home a new set of tires.
Overall, it was a fantastic first event to attend, much more relaxed than the auto shows where everyone is focused on the day running smoothly. This gave the journalists and automakers a chance to relax with each other and enjoy the fine engineering and perfect weather. It was a great chance to finally meet all of the people that you communicate with weekly via the web. We also got very nice GM swag bags filled with things like travel mugs from BMW, cd visor holders from MINI, t-shirts, pens, key chains, and calculators.