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Local advertising strategy gone terribly wrong


From time to time in my career I am presented with a piece of advertising that is bad on an epic scale. When I come to such a cross roads the only way I seem to know how to process these crimes against the profession I love is to write about them seemingly in the hopes that by putting the stupidity out into the universe it will somehow stop it from happening again.  The latest offender arrived in my mailbox this evening so get ready universe because here it comes.

I came home from work and got the mail from the mailbox on my front porch as usual.  I started to flip the assortment of junk mail and tome like fashion magazines my wife seems to receive on a daily basis. In the middle of the pile I found a medium size white envelope that had been hand written with my name and no return address (this should have been the first clue) but it had a local postage stamp. I was curious and I opened the envelope and pulled out what appeared to be a page torn from a newspaper with a yellow sticky note on it.  The note written in bad penmanship read ‘Stephen, Check this out. -J”. I stood there for a second pondering what I just read before even looking at the paper as I don’t know anyone who signs their name “J”. I then read the newspaper page which was for a sale at my local Nissan Dealer.  I little investigation and I realized that “J” was someone from the Nissan dealership who sent me the ad and used the note to pretend to be someone who knows me.

Lets take a second and walk through this logic on this genius marketing strategy.  You start with the average consumer not trusting salesmen at car dealerships because there is a perception that those salesmen are fast talkers who lie and say anything to make a deal. So in this case my local Nissan dealership is going to fight this tragic stereotype by trying to lie me and pose as someone who knows me to try to get me into the dealership.  That is so staggeringly stupid on so many levels I don’t even know where to start. I’m normally not a arrogant ass but this is one time where these guys need to leave the big thoughts to the professionals.

1 Comment

  1. Terje Sannarnes

    April 14, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I think that after reading this article many entrepreneurs would be able to change their local advertising strategies for the better.

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Creative Director, Designer, Brand Builder, Speaker, Podcaster, Crazy One. As a designer, I have 20+ years experience creating the strategy, concepts, and designs for award-winning integrated global advertising campaigns, building multiple global Fortune 500 brands and creating innovative digital experiences. As a leader, I have 15+ years transforming agency and client-side teams using a mix of creativity, business strategy, process and political skill to create innovative, world-class work and cultures that change industries and companies. My clients have included American Airlines, W Hotels, Disney, Citi, ExxonMobil, Acura, Old Navy, Nationwide Insurance, Verizon, Subaru and many others. My work has received over 150 international awards, my app designs have been named as one of the World’s 100 Greatest Apps, Apple has featured my work in 9 keynotes, 4 TV commercials and more.

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