Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chrysler, Audi & "Badvertising"

I'm watching auto companies waste even more money. This time, on "badvertising": Advertising that misses the mark, that's not consistent from medium to medium, that's created by a handful of agencies. Splintered messages. Nothing focused. Nothing that's going to move a lot of product.

From the flap with @ChryslerAutos dropping the F bomb on Twitter, after the (I think) brilliant use of Eminem's brand to relaunch Chrysler during the Super Bowl, I'm amazed at how many snafus and guffaws the advertising industry makes today. Methinks it's because the big agencies are too big. Purchased by conglomerates, like all media related industries today. And thinking social media too small to fight for, to keep it under their roof. Wieden & Kennedy does brilliant TV for Chrysler, but some obviously clueless company is tweeting? And tweeting poorly. W&K should be handling the entire account. That's the way ad agencies used to work. And we'd fight to keep all the biz under our one roof. So everything matched.

No so, today. Social media has gotten away from the good, creative agencies. They either don't understand it or they think it's insignificant. It's not. It's imperative. And it needs to be wrapped into the overall branding efforts, along with the TV, print, online, out-of-home, etc.

Audi's recent big deal at the Super Bowl, where they were going to make a huge statement with social media, was a disaster. And they didn't. I retweeted our Hawaii blogger who was in their social media contest and never once looked at the Audi advertising. Didn't even know it was for Audi, really, as the hashtag was something really stupid like #ProgressIs. Had not a clue what it was even about. And Audi's tweets are boring, product placement only. So I unfollowed them.

Ad agencies need to get their acts together and be the full service marketing arms they once were. The creative and the clients are suffering.