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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Something has been bugging me for the last week, I know that Mitsu and Subaru did not use their Open class cars as a marketing tool in any of their ads and I cannot understand the logic in that. This point has been commented on quite a bit but even more baffling is the fact that Dodge never used the Neons in any ads. I was really interested when the SRt4 was at Rim the year before it was released, what a great ad campaign it could have been. "Before we released the SRt4 we pushed it through it's paces in the roughest enviroment we could find the SCCA Pro Rally sereis. Now this performance can be avaialble to you blah blah blah" or something like that would have been pretty cool. The yahve a normal Neon in group 2 so they could have pushed the regular neon maybe with both the SRT4 and the standard neon going up pikes peak or something. It seems to me that perhaps the marketing folks that like to blame rally as giving no exposure do not know how to exploit their rally programs to the fullest. Now maybe there is a good reason that Dodge hasn't used rally in ads but if anyone else has insight on this I owuld like you to share your thoughts.
 

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In the however many years Hyundai was at it, and after how many championship wins, I think they did 1 national TV commercial. It was a "Get in and drive" ad with Paul Choinere. I did see a poster with one of the Elantras in a dealership once.

Suby actually does a pretty good job. The dealerships are plastered with posters and models. Much of their literature mentions the rally program and has pics of the cars. It's prominant on the website, and many TV ads have cuts of the cars. TV tends to show the WRC cars, but the lit and dealerships show SRTUSA and Suby Canada stuff almost exclusively. When I test drove a WRX the salesman bragged that "this is the car that RALLY drivers use." When I showed him how rally drivers use them, he got pretty scared.

Mitsu was by far the worse. Someone told me they had one national ad for the Lancer, in which they might have put a shot of a rally car. The dealership may be lucky to have a poster, but most likely not. No mentions whatsoever in the lit, and the salesman may be vaguely aware that the cars are raced, but probobly only in Europe. When they not only won the Championship last year, but dominated it,they were rewarded with having the program cut. There was no promotion, no excitement, nothing. To give you an idea of how bad it was, I was told that the entire rally program (including TV and advertising) cost them less than 1/2% of there annual national ad budget. Besides the moderate sales success of the Lancer, and the Fast and the Furious, that championship was the ONLY positive thing to happen to Mitsu all year. But to find out how many people know about it check the counter at the top of the forum for registered users.

Lurch would know more about what Mazda does, but they have brought him to some major car shows. Ditto for Dodge. Both efforts are relatively low budget, and they rely on event coverage and exposure to promote the cars. In the case of the SRT-4, it is an enthusiest vehicle, and potential customers already probably get Sport Compact Car or Grassroots motorsports, where they will see the cars in action. Dodge's effort is as much an engineering excercise/corporate perk as it is advertising.

VW's "cute car" ad with Shieble's beetle was so successful they did a second run.

Personally I think any motorsports effort that isn't highly publicized is a huge waste. In the case of niche companys like Suby and Mitsu, it's all they have. Ford and GM still "win on sunday sell on monday" in NASCAR, and those cars have essentially zero relation to the showroom models. It's a powerful tool, and one of the reasons some of these manufacturers are having trouble increasing market share is because they haven't learned how to use it.

Dennis Martin
[email protected]
920-432-4845
 

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eating dust taking photos
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I work at the local drag strip as a track photographer. Mopar does a lot of title event sponsorship here. At the sport compact nationals here in colorado there were about 15 plugs over the parts of 2 days I was there where the announcer talked about all the programs Mopar had racing efforts in. The third one listed everytime was SCCA ProRally. There was only one poster at the huge mopar/DC display but it was still plugged.


Didn't hurt that we had a couple local rally cars on display there as well....
 

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>VW's "cute car" ad with Shieble's beetle was so successful
>they did a second run.

The story that I heard was that VWoA didn't get what they wanted out of the "cute car" campaign and have not been responsive to getting involved in rally since then. Then again, in my dealings with VWoA (bought two new VWs this year and had dealer issues and had a problem that just wouldn't stay fixed plus they have survey companies call all of the time), I found the company to be very strange.

>In the case of niche companys
>like Suby and Mitsu, it's all they have.

Not true for Subaru. They seem to be somehow involved in just about every adventure sport that I can think of.

alan

edited to fix a typo
 

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I actully have a Mark Higgins Mitsu SCCA Pro Rally Poster that I got from Wyzeta Mistu here in the Twin Cities. So there was some but not much. These posters where on the roof of the showroom floor model of the 8.
 

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A few months ago I saw a TV commercial for Lexus.

They were using a "rally" prepped Lexus IS 300 in their ad. It was sliding sideways perfectly through a muddy corner.

Following the Lexus was a rally prepped Beamer, however it was not sliding sideways as pretty as the Lexus. The Beamer made all the spectators/photographers run...

It was very odd to see....Lexus' marketing semi-worked; I remember the ad months on, but I did not go out and purchase a Lexus or Beamer.

:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
At the recent drift event ford racing showed up with an uber nice truck complete with Duval and Marko's cars (replica show versions but they looked nice) to promote ford, yet they are in the WRC and they cannot turn out for a rally event. I find it a little sad that what is essentially a complete niche sport (I use the term sport lossely it is more ballet and figure skating with cars) is able to attract huge audiences because of an effective marketing scheme yet as the guy form Mitsu put it "it is three guys and a bear in the woods" watching rally.

I have seen the IS commercial always seemed a bit strange to be but well if it works why not. I also remember Audi using old Mouton footage in an ad a few years back.
 

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This thread brings up good points. It's not that Americans don't like rally, they just don't have any idea what it is.

>At the recent drift event ford racing showed up with an uber
>nice truck complete with Duval and Marko's cars (replica
>show versions but they looked nice) to promote ford, yet
>they are in the WRC and they cannot turn out for a rally
>event. I find it a little sad that what is essentially a
>complete niche sport (I use the term sport lossely it is
>more ballet and figure skating with cars) is able to attract
>huge audiences because of an effective marketing scheme yet
>as the guy form Mitsu put it "it is three guys and a bear in
>the woods" watching rally.

A drifting audience means that the folks there are only interested in show and not the actual substance which rally is chock full of. Ford got the same promotion they wanted with a couple of replicas that wouldn't ever run as they could by running a season here. They showed off their cars to people who are only interested in show. Why actually race them for promotions sake.

Finbar O'Neil sucks.

Unfortunately the Secret Car Club of America top brass has hidden the sport instead of giving organizers the resources to grow the sport sustainably from the club level and undercut them when they should have realized that the organizers and workers are what make the sport grow. I don't count what KS did as credible. It's like someone putting on a football helmet and saying that they play for an NFL team. I love Sue Robinson and what she does for us by the way.

>
>I have seen the IS commercial always seemed a bit strange to
>be but well if it works why not. I also remember Audi using
>old Mouton footage in an ad a few years back.
 

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really. that would be really cool to have. i want the solberg impreza that tyco put out.
 

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I went out and got the Higgins Mitsu. It is around $80. It is cool having a toy from a series that I run in and a car that I have competed against (uh, several minutes behind).

The Visual ID package isn't quite right on it, though. Where's Kurt when you need him.

alan
 
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