Archive for November, 2009

New restaurants in old car dealerships

This weekend I went to an event in California at a restaurant located in a former Chrysler dealer’s showroom.  It was a great beautiful space, with gorgeous windows.

In the conversion from showroom to restaurant, they kept many of the signs and nameplates.  It was very cool space.

Later I though it was also a powerful commentary on the state of our economy when car salesmen are replaced by waitresses.  Is Chrysler becoming a nostalgia brand?  Will it be more profitable as a theme restaurant than a automotive manufacturer?    Will Pontiac and Dodge become the names of competing restaurant chains?

And the winner is…Hyundai!

In case  you missed this morning’s edition of Ad Age, Hyundai has been voted “Marketer of the Year”  So Kudos to the folks at Hyundai and their various agencies!

In a year when other marketers were soft-pedalling the economic crisis, Hyundai addressed it head-on with frank and honest messages.  That’s pretty refreshing.

And they paid off the marketing with cars that are remarkable for their quality and design.  I rented one in the middle of September and was very surprised and pleased.

Hyundai_Marketer of the Year

It is proof that you can change people’s minds about brands with a strong narrative.  This should bring optimism to any marketer with a brand that has drifted.  It takes time, it takes bold moves, but it can be done.  It is easier to change people’s minds than it is to change your brand.

The company has come a long way from the days that it was first introduced to America in advertising by Backer and Spielvogel.

Now maybe someone can step in and give Chrysler some help?



I am not a billboard or walking advertisement

Well, maybe I am.  Thank you Continental Airlines for giving out these lovely wrappers to everyone as we cross the finish line.

Me, as a walking advertisement for Continental

Of special note for all you techies out there.  The orange tag on my running shoe is an RFID tag.  It makes it possible to track each runner along the course.  The results were posted real time so that you can follow your friends and family along the way.  Very cool.

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