Self Driving Cars -Just Down the Road

Tesla's self-driving prototype

Tesla’s self-driving prototype

Implications are very positive for marketers as “drivers” will have more time 

It is not news that autonomous vehicle development programs are nearing market launch. Alphabet current has cars on the road and the projected timetable for commercial launches includes:  Uber and Volvo 2017, GM 2018, Tesla 2019, Nissan 2020 and Ford 2021. While most people are in denial, which is often the case with game changing technologies, soon our driving culture will change. Part of the promise is increased safety. This past year over 43,000 people in the U.S were killed in traffic accidents and this total is predicted to decline significantly with the advent of self-driving cars.

From a marketing perspective there will be new opportunities to get advertised messages and branded content in front of “drivers,” who will soon have more time on their hands to read magazines, use their mobile devices and who knows maybe even pick up a newspaper – wouldn’t that be a novel idea?

According to a report in the wall street journal http://www.wsj.com Delphi Automotive and Mobileye, two leading auto parts suppliers are collaborating to manufacture “fully autonomous driving system that car makers could begin placing in their vehicles in 2019.”

This will change our culture, improve our time management and allow for advertisers to have new, more engaging ways to reach consumers during their daily commutes. Brands that start their planning early will have an advantage.

Is this a brand innovation? Wake up and smell the chewable tablet?

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 11.44.27 AMIt has finally happened. Technology is now taking away one of the last remaining true pleasures in life: the aroma and flavor of a nice hot cup of coffee. In case you haven’t seen it you might want to explore the latest craze from Nootropics, the creators of Go Cubes who claim to be “experts at cognitive enhancement.”  Kind of reminds me when my dry cleaner told me a few years ago that he wants to be seen as a “cleaning solutions provider,” instead of a plain old dry cleaner.  Non-the-less, the new chewable coffee made a great impression at SWSW, where it was offered as more portable than coffee, less expensive per serving and containing ingredients that temper coffee’s harsher effects. Created by techies, GO Cubes now face a brand challenge to appeal to a broader audience outside of geeky engineers trying to stay up all night to write a few more lines of code. Taking on coffee is most probably a thankless task as the coffee “habit” is a global, cultural phenomenon that does not conform to any kind of rational alternative no matter how convenient or cost effective. Pretty much all branding professionals these days know that successful brands must not only provide value but have to deliver an engaging customer experience. So, I invite anyone who is interested to sit down with the NY Sunday Times, a warm and crackling fire place and a plate full of chewable caffeine tabs, now known as the Go Cube. In my view the Go Cube will soon be rebranded the “Gone Cube.”  Goodbye and good luck!

The importance of the word “The”

In case you are late to the party, the official name of a country in the news a lot this week is “Ukraine,” not “The Ukraine.”  Lest you think this a small thing, it is a big deal to the residents and patriots of a nation that in 1991 established its independence from the former Soviet Union and formally asked the world to drop the “the.”  The difference between a “state” with an independent constitution and sovereignty is a meaningful distinction from a region or geographic area – as in say, The Arctic, The Azores or The Pacific Ocean.  The other factor, as a recent  article from the Business Insider points out is the derivation of the word Ukraine, which in Old Slavic was Ukrania or borderland, hence the need for the “the”.    [ I always wanted to write a sentence with the words “the the.”]

In any event, I wish them all well in this difficult time and hope that the interests of the citizens will prevail over a forced military solution to their sovereignty.

Google searches for "Ukraine" outnumber those for T"he Ukraine"

Google searches for Ukraine outnumber those for The Ukraine”

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