Swagger Wagon Meet Country Squire

19 05 2010

I first have to say, this video cracks me up!

Advertising is about selling a story – and their story is loud and clear: Yeah, you’re a parent, but you’re not…. your parents. You’re cool. You’re hip. They start off with the dad “rolling hard through the streets” (:30) and the mom “used to party as a college chick”  but now she’s “cruising to their playdates looking all slick” (:50).

Advertising is about knowing your target audience and knowing what they really want. Then tell them that you’ve got it… and what they really want isn’t a car – it’s a lifestyle, an image.

So, I googled and found a comparison for you:

Wow, we can debate racism in the Sienna, but how does that Ford strike our modern feminist sensibilities? Notice they’re only speaking to “the American man [who] is many things” (:08). Compare that to the Sienna wife who handles the money (1:26).

Also, to target their audience of the do-it-yourself breadwinner, they list the load space and engine features (:45, 1:00). Because, you know, men have to care about that stuff, even when they’re looking for status at a low price.

Their story? It’s about having a vehicle that is versatile – beautiful and practical (:19). But if you notice, there’s a subtle message of wealth to go along with it. Just look at the names for the different wagons: the Country Squire and the Park Lane.

Anyway, back to the story being told by Toyota. They’re telling it loud and clear with a whole series of videos that aren’t commercials. Well, they are, they’re just not paying big money to put them on TV. Another example of how times are changing – the best advertising now is viral.

Oh, so you wanted some Christian take on this. Okay: What story are we telling? Is it clear or are we confused ourselves? And also, Christians could learn something about evangelism from marketers…. know what people want / need first, and then tell them about the gospel.

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A little advice from the outside

23 01 2010

“Data crowds out faith . . . Relying too much on proof distracts you from the real mission–which is emotional connection.”

I’m currently reading a book for small group leaders (which I’ll be reviewing shortly). One of the most important things I want to tell small group leaders is precisely that: data crowds out faith. People don’t need more history  or diverse interpretations.

But this quote doesn’t come from a small group leader’s guide. It comes from Seth Godin.

Seth Godin is a marketer. As far as I know, he’s not a Christian. He sells things, but he does it by knowing what people really want. And he’s usually right. People don’t want evidence, proof, or data. They want connection, grace, acceptance, and truth.

So the question is, who’s going to give them that emotional connection? Seth Godin? or the Church?