Posts from ‘Brands and Marketing’

2005 Ford Excursion

2005 Ford Excursion

When you think lobster, you probably don’t think McDonalds. This may explain, at least in part, why the McLobster sandwich proved to be a bust for the folks over at Golden Arches HQ. Fast-food regulars just didn’t see the draw of a $6 sandwich that was likely to disappoint on several levels.

Bad Car Names

Is St. Regis a better name for a car, or a hospital?

Sometimes, automotive models names aren’t so much bad as they are inappropriate. It’s worth noting that when Cadillac rolled out a compact model based on the Chevrolet Cavalier, the brand came up with a new name for the car—Cimarron—instead of carelessly appropriating a heritage moniker along the lines of LaSalle Sport or Deville II.

Japanese Saturn Commerical, 1997

In 1997, Saturn began selling cars in Japan. A right-hand-drive SW2 is seen here. 

Saturn executives had reason to feel confident in 1997. In just six years on the market, the fledgling brand had accrued 1.5 million customers and was on pace to sell another 300,000 cars in the coming 12 months. Saturn was on fire, and the division’s management was eager to continue making good news.

Designer Series Lincoln Mark VI

Lincoln offered four designer editions of the 1977 Mark V.

I would argue that the low-point in automotive designer licensing/co-branding came in 1993, when Mercury rolled out its Nissan-built Villager minivan complete with a line-topping Nautica Special Edition.


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According to research conducted by, the following list represents the car brands most highly rated by women.


Daihatsu Charade

It wasn’t just automotive branding; the Eighties were rife with questionable marketing efforts. Unloaded on a largely dismissive public were the Betamax-format VCR, Colgate Kitchen Entrées (really), and Joanie Loves Chachi. Still, we can forgive such flops, as the buying public can be unpredictable when it comes to technology, food, and entertainment. But carmakers—well, by the Eighties they’d been making and selling cars for most of a century.


Why not name your concept car for a device used during invasive medical procedures? This 1982 concept car seems to have influenced both the Ford Taurus and the European-market Sierra (our Merkur XR4Ti), and predated the production Ford Probe by seven years.

At Consumer Guide, we listen to our readers. So, when you fired back with your nominations for the worst model names of all time, we took note. Below please find the five model names most mentioned by our blog friends. If you haven’t yet chimed in with your pick for lousy model names, fear not. We’ll likely do another Readers’ Choice post soon.


Tom doesn’t think much of Breeze as a model name.

According to online business magazine Fast Company, a good product name should be memorable, mean something, and sound good when spoken. By those rules, Accord strikes me as a good model name. Accord means something (the definition of accord is “agreement of import”), it’s memorable as a model name, and it rolls nicely off the tongue.

Sexist Honda Ad

Who is this ad aimed at? (1972 Honda Ad)

The message in these vintage ads is pretty clear. Buy the right car and you’ll get all the women you deserve. That’s if you’re a guy. If you’re a woman, well, maybe you should consult your husband or boyfriend before making such a big purchase decision.

The auto industry is a different place this century, but it’s always amusing to looking back and see how simple—and often sexist—things once were. You know, back when Buick had a way with women.


A pure-electric vehicle, the Spark EV wears a “wave” badge tagged with letters “EV.”

Blue is the new “Green,” sort of. A quick review of recent eco-themed automotive marketing suggests that the word green may be losing steam as a catch-all descriptor of things eco-friendly.

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