The Big 3 will not be participating in this year’s biggest advertising event—the Super Bowl. For the last eight years, we could always count on at least one of the American carmakers to run at least one ad during the game. But, this year all three will be sitting on the sidelines.
To me, it represents one of the reasons why the Big 3 is hurting. Sure, the economy is limping along. And yes, Super Bowl ads are very expensive. But, to stop marketing your vehicles at this point is a big mistake.
Many businesses are doing the same thing—advertising is down all over the country–on the Internet, in publications, on TV and radio. But, to halt advertising efforts during rocky economic times is not forward-thinking. Now is actually the ideal time to ramp up your advertising. Audi, Hyundai and Toyota will be running ads. What do they know that the Big 3 can’t see?
Why retreat and admit defeat when you can be more aggressive with your advertising and marketing and take a shot at capturing a segment of the market you might not otherwise have a shot at? Things are wide open right now and people are going to have to buy new cars eventually, so why not make sure you’re on their radar when they do? When this recession ends (and it will some day) those companies that were proactive in their advertising efforts will come out of it in better shape than ever.
Pulling in the reins on your advertising is a knee-jerk reaction and will not solve anything. If you don’t toot your horn and tout your company, who will? This move illustrates clearly that the Big 3 is scared and has lost its confidence in its products. It’s a sad day.
Article that appeared in the Detroit News today after the jump: