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Drive What You Sell


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Drive What You Sell
Ad agency execs use vehicles they push
By JEAN HALLIDAY | ADVERTISING AGE
Link to Original Article @ AutoWeek



When the Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners advertising agency competed for the Mini USA account in 2005, its executives visited Mini dealerships. They talked with Mini owners and enthusiast clubs. A few staffers already drove Minis.

A year after his agency won the account, CEO Greg Stern says 10 employees of the Sausalito, Calif., shop own Minis. Stern owns an Audi station wagon and a classic Mercedes-Benz, but says "I have the most fun driving the Mini" he also owns.

The agency doesn't offer employees inducements to buy the premium small cars. "The incentive is it's a great car to drive," Stern says. "It's a lot of fun, and we represent that brand."

Ad agencies covet automotive accounts because of car companies' often robust budgets and the prestige they bring to an agency's client roster. Shops pull out the stops to pitch automakers.

During Mazda's 1997 review, the Doner agency of suburban Detroit rented every model the company made for 30 days. Agency executives wanted to get to know the brand, says CEO Alan Kalter.

After it won the account, Doner encouraged staffers to buy Mazda vehicles -- in part because of a discount from the automaker, Kalter says. He owns two Mazdas: a Miata and a B4000.

Tim Blett, president of Doner's auto practice in suburban Los Angeles, owns a Mazda RX-8 and two Tribute SUVs. He says he also has persuaded his mother, stepfather and brother to buy Mazdas.

Show us the Chevy


Chevrolet's ad agency, Campbell-Ewald, takes a different approach. Executives of the suburban Detroit agency who work on the account must have a Chevrolet in their households. They must present the vehicle registration to collect an annual bonus, sources say.

A Campbell-Ewald spokesman would not confirm that mandate, citing legal issues related to compensation. But he says the agency "broadly encourages our people to buy Chevrolets."

Any executive with the rank of senior vice president or higher who owns a Chevrolet gets a reserved parking space. Plenty of Chevrolets are in the agency's lot, in reserved and unreserved spots.

The former Bozell Worldwide ad agency had Chrysler Corp. as a client in the mid-1990s. Any employee of the agency's suburban Detroit office who bought a new Chrysler qualified for a week's vacation with pay.

More than 60 percent of the agency's employees took advantage of the offer, says Mike Vogel, who headed the office. "Chrysler loved the idea," says Vogel, now a communications consultant. Executives in Bozell's New York headquarters "had a meltdown over it but finally acquiesced," he says.

Vogel estimates Bozell staffers bought as many as 700 Chrysler vehicles a year. "You need to support your clients," he says. "Otherwise, you're just hired guns."

Keen on Kia



The David & Goliath agency in suburban Los Angeles has had the Kia account since 1999. David Angelo, the agency's chairman, estimates that half his agency's employees own Kia vehicles. Angelo says he drives a Kia Amanti sedan and a Sorento SUV.

"We don't put any strict mandates on our people" to buy Kia vehicles, Angelo says. Instead, the agency recommends that its employees drive Kias but also check out the competition. "We are a challenger brand," he says. "It behooves us to know what other vehicles are like."

The TBWA/Chiat/Day agency in suburban Los Angeles has the Nissan and Infiniti ad accounts. Rob Schwartz, the agency's executive creative director, estimates that 40 percent of all agency employees who work on those accounts bought new Nissan or Infiniti vehicles in 2006.

"We embrace the brand," he says.

The Carmichael Lynch agency in Minneapolis has had the Porsche account since 1998. The agency's president, John Colosanti, says Carmichael Lynch leased a Boxster to help win the work.

Six agency staffers own or lease Porsches, Colosanti says. The agency owns a Boxster, which it awards monthly to the team or employee that comes up with the best idea.
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MINI should have stayed with CP&B... who practically invented the whole guerilla/viral marketing thing. They stuck MINIs onto the roofs of Excursions and drove around cities, and made satirical infomercials and fake movies all before it was cool...

http://www.counterfeitmini.org

http://www.motormate.com

Now all they've got with BSS&P is Hammer & Coop...

http://www.hammerandcoop.com

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I like this idea, to bad North America does not follow the same rule. Imagine if the US government gave you a tax credit of a thousand dollars if you bought a North American built vehicle from a North American owned car manufacturer.

It would pay for itself in short order, i would imagine.

Chris

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Show us the Chevy

Chevrolet's ad agency, Campbell-Ewald, takes a different approach. Executives of the suburban Detroit agency who work on the account must have a Chevrolet in their households. They must present the vehicle registration to collect an annual bonus, sources say.

A Campbell-Ewald spokesman would not confirm that mandate, citing legal issues related to compensation. But he says the agency "broadly encourages our people to buy Chevrolets."

Any executive with the rank of senior vice president or higher who owns a Chevrolet gets a reserved parking space. Plenty of Chevrolets are in the agency's lot, in reserved and unreserved spots.

Awsome. I've always said if I have my own business I'll reward employees for

owning/leasing GM product, or perhaps even just any of the big-three.

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In Canada, GM offers the employees of McClaren-McCann a special discount to encourage them to use GM products. All the top executives have GM products. (I should know: I sold those vehicles to them.) I guess when you represent a broad spectrum company like GM or Ford, it wouldn't be too hard to coax your employees into their producsts. Pity the Hyundai account though. Without denigrating their product (who? me?), they just don't have the breadth or choices. A guy making $160k is not going to drive a Sonata.

You would think all of this would be a given, but even at our dealership we have guys driving NIssans, VW, there is a new guy with a Pathfinder.

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I'm with Sixty8 ... I would do the same thing.

But, I wonder ... does these company programs indicate if you have to own a NEW product ... or do they allow for older models as well....hmmm....

Cort:33swm."Mr Monte Carlo.Mr Road Trip".pig valve.pacemaker

PICS:lego.HO.model.MCinfo.RT.CHD = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"I'll always be around" ... Willie Nelson ... 'Highwayman'

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In Canada, GM offers the employees of McClaren-McCann a special discount to encourage them to use GM products. All the top executives have GM products. (I should know: I sold those vehicles to them.) I guess when you represent a broad spectrum company like GM or Ford, it wouldn't be too hard to coax your employees into their producsts. Pity the Hyundai account though. Without denigrating their product (who? me?), they just don't have the breadth or choices. A guy making $160k is not going to drive a Sonata.

You would think all of this would be a given, but even at our dealership we have guys driving NIssans, VW, there is a new guy with a Pathfinder.

I see what you mean. Although, if Hyundai was giving me a huge account, I would drive an Accent no matter how much I made. I would have to get my driving excitment somewhere else though. :rolleyes:

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