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The ad’s the thing, not the product

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To the Editor:

I see a trend continuing in this business that the car companies themselves don’t seem to understand.

Lately, carmakers seem to care more about consumers connecting with their advertising than with the products they produce. Focus groups, directors, designers and many other specialists seem to pay more attention to the 15-second television commercial or print ad than they do to the emotional impact created by the cars and trucks they are trying to sell.

As a marketer and a collector-car enthusiast, I’m amazed at the connection owners have with, for example, a 1964 Mustang or 1959 Corvette.

Many of us who know cars would have difficulty looking at side photos of the top 20 selling cars and being able to tell a Toyota Corolla from a Kia Sephia or a Chevrolet Impala.

As a result, if I do see a creative, interesting ad for a car or truck, I’m caught up in ad itself and not the product.

Do you have any thoughts on the sameness of many of today’s cars and trucks?

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