Posts from ‘Brands and Marketing’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Through their logos, many automakers have created a dazzling world of wonder. In logo land, you’ll discover roman gods, prancing horses, and mystical beasts—as well as religious themes such as the Holy Trinity and the Christian Crusades. It’s a universe of stars and planets, ships and rockets, diamonds and domination. One emblem, which is simply a crooked letter, symbolizes a trustworthy handshake.
Foreign automakers have been selling vehicles in America since the early days of the automobile, but not all international automobiles, or their nameplates, are appropriate for U.S. buyers. Here is a fun sampling of some bizarre foreign-vehicle names.
I never quite got past the Mercury Villager Nautica. Someone funnier than me once called it “a vehicle that’s not quite a van wearing a label that’s not quite designer.” Not quite as troubling, but clearly overreaching, was the Chevrolet Venture Warner Brothers Edition. I recall that this bit of silly cobranding got Chevy into trouble when it wanted to sponsor events at Disney.
There’s a brand of commercial toilet paper named Surpass. Really. I can’t help but chuckle when I think about the pitch meeting in which that name was first introduced. Given that the one-ply, generically wrapped, oh-too-necessary office supply would likely be pitched only to accountants, property managers, and inventory assistants, you’d think that a name like Stingy Wipe or Econo-Komfort might make more sense.