I have a bit of a problem about letting go of bad advertising. I don’t get upset about its intrusiveness, the way it drives society in general to become materialistic and obsessive, or even false claims. As a marketer myself, I understand all these things. What drives me up a wall is when an ad or campaign is just so poorly developed that there is simply no excuse for it.
Yesterday, while driving back to work from Costco after having enjoyed a delicious ¼ lb Polish sausage and Diet Coke for $1.62, a car commercial came on the radio. I knew it was a Lexus commercial right away because it had that voice-over guy with the smoky voice. You know, the “December to Remember” guy. But something didn’t feel right about it.
The ad started by mentioning that a certain car company (it didn’t specify) ran annual tests against competitive offerings and miraculously, always came out on top. First off, no kidding since a company would bury any study that didn’t support its world view, but I digress. The ad then went on to say that an independent study conducted a test of sport sedans to determine which had the best value. The conclusions were startling. Was it the Lexus IS-F? No. (So now I know its not a Lexus commercial). Was it the BMW M3? No. Was it the Mercedes AMG? No. The study found that the best value was in fact, the Mitsubishi Lancer.
One of these things is not like the others. Can you find which one?
No kidding! Wanna know why? Because people shopping for those other three RWD, V8, tire-smoking sex machines wouldn’t even look at Mitsubishi’s FWD, 4-banger econobox that actually gets fairly poor gas mileage. Comparing them on value is equivalent to saying that a McDonalds is a better value than Kobe, Ruth’s Chris or Wolfgang Puck. Yeah, any of those will fill your stomach, but you don’t go for the same reasons.
Here’s the thing, the Lancer’s big brother the Evolution X is a good car. I’m not going to say its not. It could hold its own with the likes of the luxury brands listed above in performance and would probably still be the better value. But that little triple diamond up front ain’t going to cut it when someone’s shopping around for the prestige that comes with a propeller, a three pointed star or the circled L.
Does Mitsubishi really believe that this campaign is going to sway someone who’s originally looking for a $60,000, 400 HP, leather interior, power-everything, top-of-the-line sport sedan is going to really be swayed to buy a $19,000 rental car? FAIL.