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Posts Tagged ‘Cars’

Tesla Hires Former Nissan PR Chief to Lead Comms and Marketing Efforts

Tesla-Model-SAt the end of last week, Elon Musk‘s award-winning, famously combative electric car company Tesla Motors gave the world another sign that it’s very serious…about corporate communications.

According to this Ecomento headline, the company “poached” Simon Sproule, who previously headed communications for Renault-Nissan, for the VP of comms and marketing position.

Why make this move? Primarily because, in the words of InsideEVsJay Cole, Sproule helped Renault-Nissan become “the runaway leader when it comes to selling pure electric cars”. Also: Mr. Musk has always been the company’s most visible spokesperson. And while he may be a genius, he is not known as the world’s greatest media relations guy.

But this isn’t the only big PR move Tesla has made so far in 2014.

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Love Dogs? So Does Volkswagen!

We’ll take a break from bemoaning our lack of a puppy to go over Volkswagen‘s new canine-friendly campaign, which is a good example of a “saturate all media” strategy:

It’s not just a cute TV spot: it’s a social campaign based on a classic strategy that never fails: send us pictures of your dogs and tell us why they are the best dogs ever.

The hashtag #woofwagen is brilliant, and fans have already started submitting their own pictures:

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Tesla’s Elon Musk Still Thinks The New York Times Is Out To Get Him

Elon Musk, Tesla CEOOn Wednesday we advised Tesla founder/eccentric weirdo Elon Musk to stop insisting that The New York Times auto critic John Broder intentionally sabotaged his Model S test drive because he hates electric cars.

We are shocked to learn that Musk did not take our advice, instead releasing another lengthy statement in which he critiqued nearly every element of Broder’s highly detailed follow-up to his initial post.

We won’t get into the technical specifics as others have covered them extensively, but here’s a good example of the nature of this tit-for-tat showdown: Musk accuses Broder of driving in circles in order to intentionally run down the car’s battery; Broder says that he was simply trying to locate one of the company’s poorly-lit Supercharger stations. He said, she said.

Again, we understand Musk’s desire to protect his baby.

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PR Win: BMW Designs 4-Year-Old’s 19-Engine Dream Car

One look at the photo of the over-the-top vehicle at left, and you might think, “Whoa. Was that designed by a car-crazed kid, or something?” Why yes, yes it was – a four-year-old named Eli, to be precise.

The one-of-a-kind design features 19 engines, 42 wheels, three steering wheels (to be controlled by three different drivers simultaneously) and, of course, a large trunk dedicated solely to transporting toys.

So how did this epically equipped piece of machinery make it from the brain of a toddler to a detailed BMW design? Like so many other magical things in childhood, all it took was a kid’s limitless imagination–and a particularly cool, dedicated adult invested in encouraging that creativity–to get things moving. It all started when Eli’s uncle posted on car enthusiast website Jalopnik:

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Toyota Recovers from PR Stumbles with Hot Pink Re-Branding

2013 Toyota CrownWe’d be hard-pressed to think of a bigger PR disaster for an automotive brand than the largest car recall in history followed by a massive tsunami wreaking untold damage on international supply chains. Heck, we didn’t even mention this valuable lesson about the dangers of automated spam messaging or this misguided effort to raise brand awareness among toddlers.

And yet, 2012 sales numbers tell us that Toyota has already recovered from a wide-reaching scandal that started in 2009 with reports of “technical difficulties” in its vehicles and ended with the recall of more than seven million individual automobiles. In fact, the Japanese company ended the year by reclaiming its place as the world’s most successful car maker.

Toyota obviously wanted to get people talking in 2013, so it came out swinging with a re-branding initiative fronted by a hot pink “executive” sedan. Japanese CEOs and their teenage daughters now have one more thing in common…a favorite color! Did someone invite Hello Kitty reps to participate in creative strategy meetings?

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