Monday, April 15, 2024

An Open Letter to Every Automaker.

I love cars.

I used to love car advertising. Especially, work done at Carl Ally for Volvo, Fiat and Saab. At Scali McCabe Sloves for Volvo. Of course, VW at DDB. And especially at Ammirati & Puris for BMW. Oh, and Porsche, at various times at Chiat\Day or Fallon.

As much as there's an emotional side to buying a car, there's a rational side, too. These agencies knew both sides. How to speak to both. How to limbic and to logic.

But logic and rational has all but disappeared from advertising today. For a number of reasons.

One. We've had about thirty years of planner bullshit proclaiming decisions are emotionally-based rather than rationally-based. OK. I guess I'm an anomaly. If I'm going to spend hundreds on something, someone ought to give me some sort of permission to believe. 

I also happen to believe that a number of factual points together can build to an emotional connection. Here's a random VW ad. Read the copy. Maybe you'll get my point.

Two. We've had about thirty millennia of bullshit that people don't read. So we read that so often, we stopped writing. 

No one took the time to do any discovery or any verification, as I did for the past few moments. They just repeated "no one reads," because advertising is easier and cheaper to produce when it's dumber and commoditized.

Let's ignore the data below because, "no one reads."

$80 Billion in sales and over half-a-billion print books sold--yet "nobody reads."

Three. And most egregious. Agencies today have staffing protocols that make it impossible for people to learn about the products and services they're paid to advertising. Staffing in an agency today is "just-in-time." They've eliminated costly inventories of knowledge and expertise. When "availability is a capability," copy becomes generic.

Since the advent of practical electric vehicles from about ten years ago, automakers have been banging their drum on their own electrification forays.

In the eyes of automakers and their agencies, they only have to say "The new ____________. It's driving electrified."

That's Shakespearean in a way. The Bard wrote, "A rose is a rose is a rose." Madison Avenue writes, "an electric is an electric is an electric."

We've forgotten completely that our job is to differentiate. 

And to differentiate requires the time, intellect, empathy and skill to find out details and make them interesting and important to people. That's the thing about point One above. Emotions aren't ownable. Facts can be.

Like I said, I like cars. 

And the Wall Street Journal does a good job covering the multi-billion (or trillion) automobile industry. They just ran this article "The EV Battery of Your Dreams Is Coming." 

There's a lot of tech in the article. About solid metal materials. About silicon, not graphite. About layers of batteries and anodes. About the expansion and contraction of batteries. Finally, even, about the very shape of batteries and a particular configuration's ability to increase range and decrease charging time and cost.

In short: All batteries are not the same. And in the coming years it won't be electrification that's the point, it will be the type of electrification. 

Actually, this short paragraph from the Journal, is exactly the kind of writing the ad industry no longer thinks is needed. Because even as though the average cost of a new car is around $47,000 and the average household income is around $80,000, car buying, like everything else, is based on emotions, right?

"...But BMW recently announced that it will begin selling the first vehicle using the company’s new platform for EVs, which it calls “Neue Klasse,” in 2025. These vehicles will have a new kind of battery which will hold more than 20% more energy than the previous type, and charging speed and range will also improve by up to 30%..."

What Madison Avenue will do with information like this will be interesting to see. Will they make it important and thereby sell more? Or will they just repeat 'no one reads' and not do anything with it?

GeorgeCo., LLC, a Delaware Company has over its five years of life differentiated dozens of products. From a tech company that protects the food supply from pathogens by detecting disease up to 500 times faster than previous protocols, to a pizza company that makes healthier snacks through alternative grains.

My offer to the automakers in the coming battery wars is simple. If you want someone who can drive sales for you by making the shape of a battery interesting, important and "I've got to have that," I'm your protoplasm.

This blog is actually a good example of my skill. I have the same letters and keyboard as everyone else. Yet I've written nearly 2,000,000 words here and get about 350,000 readers a month. 

That's fantastic for a blog. It wouldn't be bad for an automaker.

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