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.
Remember the old trick where someone would create an ad that said “Sex,” and then the body copy would read “Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about…” Dishonesty and trickery, while initially getting your attention, usually leaves people disappointed or worse yet upset and predisposed to not wanting what you are selling. How many times have we all been tricked into reading a blog post that promised the “Top 5” or “Top 10 Reasons?” The rationale in favor of this blogging tactic is that “it must work, otherwise people would not do it.” A valid point perhaps, but marketers need to ask if the net result is in fact brand building or rather aversion. So here are my TOP 5 REASONS WHY TOP 5 POSTS ARE HURTING YOUR BRAND:
Reason #1: People are sick of it.
Reason #2: Interest is converted to dislike.
Reason # 3: You bury the benefit or value of your brand.
Reason #4: Your brand is seen as not authentic
Reason #5: Awareness, in many cases is less important than preference
It 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!
World War II/Swing generations
Members of the WWII Generation were born in 1932 or before and are
aged 82 or older in 2014. Members of the Swing Generation were born
from 1933 to 1945 and are aged 69-81 in 2014.
The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2014, Baby Boomers are
between the ages of 50 and 68.
The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2014, Gen Xers are
between the ages of 38 and 49.
Born between 1977 and 1994, Millennials are aged 20 to 37 in 2014.
Born between 1995 and 2007, members of iGen are aged 7-19 in 2014.
The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births
declined sharply with the recession. In 2014 members of this as-yet unnamed
generation are younger than 7.
The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 phased out the Civil Aeronautics Board and its control of pricing and routes in commercial aviation and paved the way for decades of new entrants and consolidation on an unprecedented scale. Now in the U.S. we have three major airlines: American, United and Delta and of course three favorite “brands” in JetBlue, Southwest and Virgin America. So, it is not surprising that we are in the midst of a classic “battle of the brands,” as the big three legacy carriers attempt to carve out distinctive images.
As we know, American launched a new identity in 2013 and is digging itself out of a self-inflicted hole by aggressively adding new aircraft and showing computer animated simulations of the new livery flying around in the clouds with a voice-over featuring “Don Draper,” from Mad Men. Delta, while often producing beautifully filmed TV commercials, still punctuates them with the theme “Keep Climbing,” which seems ironically similar to the ill-fated United campaign of a few years ago, “Rising,” which failed because it offered a service proposition that they were unable to credibly deliver.
United, in an attempt to freshen their image, has turned back the clock and re-introduced the “Fly the Friendly Skies” tag line that many of us remember from childhood. They have done a brilliant job in bringing back one of the most memorable tag lines in U.S. advertising history (not just in aviation) and made it relevant for today’s audiences. So far the feedback has been positive as United is showing that a great idea is one that stands the test of time. In the new ads and billboards, it is not surprising to see visuals of a mobile device accessing the United route map in a cyber inspired environment, and to see United working with Twitter followers to build intimacy across the globe.
Marketers will be observing closely how these three campaigns unfold and whether or not consumers will be moved to embrace the ongoing attempt to win loyalty in the skies, whether “friendly” or not.