Tag Archives: new york international auto show

It’s Not a Car Show: It’s Speed Dating for Brands

Once again, I accompanied my research assistants to the New York International Auto Show (#NYAIS) with an eye on evaluating the event as marketing.  Although I didn’t see any new exhibits that made me think differently about any given brand, I did recognize a hidden value of the show: speed dating for brands.

NYIAS Retro: Read My Posts from last year’s show

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

With over one million visitors, all of whom seem to want to slide behind the wheel of the same Corvette that you do, NYIAS has no room for subtlety.  In my personal case, my research assistants made sure that I had even less time to decide whether to visit a booth.

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My research assistants couldn’t even agree on which booth to knock over first

As a result, I started to see the similarities between the show and speed dating (as least as I’ve seen it in the movies; I last dated in the Cretaceous Era).

  • The room has a lot of potential matches who start to look alike after awhile
  • Everyone is trying his or her darndest
  • You always suspect there’s someone better for you…somewhere

So, let me point out the brands that would have merited a second date, at least with me (disclosure: I have not been on a second date since 2001, so YMMV) and why I liked them.

Ford Cars: My Kids Liked Her

The closest thing I saw to a home run was (mixed metaphor alert): Ford’s partnership with the New York City Football Club of Major League Soccer. Continue reading

Marketing Winners and Losers at the NY International Auto Show (Part 3)

Manufacturers put on exhibits at auto shows because they want to sell cars to adults, but sometimes they recognize another key attendee group: kids.  Subjects of “My Super Sweet 16” aside, the kids don’t buy cars, of course, but they do have immediate value to the exhibitors for two reasons:

  1. Kids attend the auto show in droves ($7 tickets help) and drag adults with them.  As in, adults who potentially buy cars
  2. Kids actually influence car purchases to a large degree

While a lot of brands offer kid-friendly exhibits (Jeep had Camp Jeep and other booths had video games), not as many have anything specific for the kids.  Let’s look at one that did have something for the kids, Ford Trucks, and what they did well and not so well.

Good: Hands-on brand experience

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My Research Assistants

Ford Trucks let kids 12 and under built snap-together models of their halo truck, the Raptor.

Continue reading

Marketing Winners and Losers at the NY International Auto Show (Part 2)

The marketing spectacle known as the New York International Auto Show had more to chew on than one man’s rant about station wagons.

For this installment, I’d like to focus on one exhibit with its hits and misses.  Ladies and gentlemen, I present Camp Jeep.

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For the past 11 years (give or take), Jeep has given consumers the opportunity to experience their vehicles’ capabilities in a first-hand manner.  They chauffeur participants over an obstacle course that shows how well the Jeeps can attack slopes, uneven ground and other things that 95% of drivers will never encounter.  All cynicism aside, the exhibit really impresses upon participants the astounding performance of the fabled brand.

Even within this impressive showcase, some aspects stand out: 2 good and one not-so-good

The upshot

  • Good: data collection from participants before and after
  • Good: keeping the troops happy
  • Not-so-good: the world’s most pointless cell phone charging station

Collecting data for fun and profit

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Marketing Winners and Losers at the NY International Auto Show (Part 1)

The lights!  The cars! The pumping music!  The attractive people on spinning turntables!  My aching back!

Yes, I attended the New York International Auto Show and lived to tell the (precautionary) tale of experiential marketing done well…and not so well.  Over the new few posts, I’ll point out how some marketers really made the most out of their residency at the Jacob Javits Convention Center and those who didn’t.

I’d like to start out with a winner, at least in my book: Subaru.  Subaru understands its audience, also known as nerds.

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Here’s what I learned:

  • Experiential marketing is a great opportunity to capture email from an interested party
  • There is no substitute for understanding your customer

Revenge of the (Station Wagon) Nerds

Oh, Subaru, you get me.  Your exhibit shot a marketing arrow right through my heart.

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