Mobile app investment should grow significantly this year, according to a report from DM2PRO and Quattro Wireless. Spending on social apps, however, will stagnate even though more marketers have already developed the applications.
Facebook Fan Pages have become the most recent in a long line of social media “must-haves” for automotive marketers –- but what do they really tell you? And are they even helpful?
Does a high fan count equal success? It’s no surprise that lots of people feel strongly about their favorite automotive brands and show their allegiance to those brands by flocking to automakers’ Facebook Fan Pages. Consider the high fan counts for some of the best-known automaker Fan Pages: As of Jan. 22, 2010, I found an average of nearly 111,000 fans across 33 OEM Fan Pages, which is pretty amazing considering the average fan count across all Facebook Fan Pages is only 4,600. Even for the 24 OEM Fan Pages with fewer than 111,000 fans, the average was just shy of 30,000 while the nine above-average pages weigh in closer to 330,000 fans each. The top five, in descending order, were Porsche, BMW, Audi, Jeep and Volkswagen.
Wondering who would replace Max the Beetle, star of Volkswagen's "Das Auto" ads from Crispin Porter & Bogusky? Turns out it's a bad-tempered, potty-mouthed old man named Sluggy, who has a habit of decking people in the face.
While Toyota Motor Co. is still figuring out how to alter its marketing in light of its unprecedented and potentially devastating recall of 2.3 million vehicles, General Motors Corp. has already jumped in with an incentive program targeted at Toyota owners.
Ford and Microsoft use mobile to spread the word about Sync. Ford Motor Co. took third place for the 2009 Mobile Marketer of the Year award. Based on the nominations received from readers and submissions from this publication's editorial team, Mobile Marketer is convinced that Ford serves as role models for outstanding use of mobile advertising and marketing. Here is a breakdown of Ford’s work in the mobile space in 2009.
Mercedes-Benz mbrace, a new telematics platform that Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) launched recently, is the first such system to have a companion mobile application. The app lets registered mbrace customers lock and unlock vehicle doors as well as locate their vehicle from within the vicinity of one mile. The app also lets owners contact their preferred Mercedes-Benz dealership or locate dealers in the U.S. by proximity. It provides dealer name, address, phone number and even pinpoints their location on a map. The click-to-call functionality allows for easy access to the mbrace Customer Response Center, Mercedes-Benz Customer Assistance Center and Mercedes-Benz Financial. Users must be active Mercedes-Benz mbrace subscribers to use the companion mobile application.
Ford brings more digital connectivity and a host of techie upgrades to its vehicle dashboards with MyFord Touch. The driver interface takes a big step up from the brand's SYNC system, which appears in many of its current models. MyTouch acts as central control for all of the car's features. The dashboard features two LCD screens. The left displays car stats like mileage and fuel info, while the right features four color-coded categories: entertainment, climate, phone and navigation. Each is accessed through cellphone-like controls on their corresponding sides of the steering wheel. Central control also extends to the 8-inch touchscreen on the car's center stack, through which the music, temp and navigation can also be manipulated.
MyFord Touch also provides cellphone and iPod hookup, with two USB inputs, an SD Card slot through which drivers can add updates or upgrades to the system, RCA A/V input jacks and internet connectivity with full wi-fi capability.
Ford Motor Co. plans to bring social networking, Web browsing and iPod-style thumb controls into 80 percent of its models by 2015 as automakers woo consumers with communications features.
A touch-command system will be available this year in the Lincoln MKX, Ford Edge and Ford Focus models, the company said. The My Ford Touch system to be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas features thumb-wheel controls on the steering wheel, as well as an 8-inch touch screen in the dashboard, for audio, navigation and climate-control functions.
In a previous post for Headlightblog.com, I covered Citroën’s plans to build a supercar that was originally designed for Polyphony Digital’s Gran Turismo 5 Prologue videogame. Recently, Mercedes-Benz announced that its SLS AMG supercar will be featured in Gran Turismo 5 (GT5), an expansion on Prologue that is scheduled for release in March 2010. GT5 is also the first of the main numbered series to be developed for the Sony PlayStation 3.
BMW ran a personalized mobile video advertising campaign to promote its X1 car model to a younger demographic in China.
BMW is growing quickly in China as its sales are up this year more than 40 percent to 90,000 units. For the launch of the X1 series, the German luxury automaker recognized that the mobile device is the primary Internet access tool in China and it is the most relevant medium for a younger demographic.
It's one of life's indelible truisms that the only good thing about hitting rock bottom is that there's no place else to go but up. And it looks like -- hopefully -- that maxim will apply to auto advertising for 2010 and beyond.