Auto brands drive into a new era

By Mark Tungate

It’s doubtful that today’s young drivers regard cars in the same way as their parents. Even if they’re not driving an electric or hybrid model, they’re aware of the automobile’s deleterious impact on our climate. Car ownership itself is declining, replaced by ride-sharing, leasing or simply more efficient public transport, as cities strive for car-free streets.

With cars in the news thanks to the Paris auto show – the Mondial de l’Auto, which ran from October 17 to 23 – we decided to take a look at the way automobile brands are communicating in the face of accelerating change.

Not so long ago, if you saw a commercial for a car, the person behind the wheel was invariably male. But that’s changed – and here’s a very well-crafted example for the Polestar 2 electric vehicle. Note how our heroine escapes the urban environment to take a big breath of nature, reflecting the car’s climate-friendly credentials. Production is by Impossible Objects.

“Born of a reverence for nature” is the tagline in this next spot, from Hogarth in the US. Dad is behind the wheel of the Mazda, but the message is in the landscape.

Some brands haven’t been obliged to change their positioning, just tweak it a little. One of the year’s best automotive campaigns came from Publicis Middle East, which suggested that nature has been in Jeep’s DNA from the start.

Similarly, Volvo has been all about safety for years. In this film from Grey London, a likeable guide takes us on a quest for “the ultimate safety test”. The storytelling is impeccable, but stay tuned for the topical twist at the end.

Let’s have some fun. This case study from Deloitte Digital in Australia imagines what would happen if cars could talk, then pushes the idea to comedic heights. You’ll never look at the glove box in the same way again.

Since we’re talking about technology – and trends – it would be unwise to ignore a case study featuring an NFT. This one is for a Nissan super car, from Juniper Park\TBWA in Toronto.

The cutest new car of recent years? Or the oddest one? In any case, the Citroën Ami is designed for today and stands out from the crowd. Here’s how BETC launched it in Paris.

Earlier on we mentioned the fact that leasing cars might be more of an attractive proposition than ownership. This short spot shows why. It’s for Danish brand Dribe, a subscription service allowing drivers to pick a different car every month, depending on their needs.

Finally, we all know that dogs love cars – or at least sticking their heads out of the passenger seat window – but apparently they particularly love MINI, according to this online film from The Brooklyn Brothers. It’s all about space.

Drive safely, everyone.

The Young Spikes Malaysia awards are for professionals under the age of 30. There are five categories: Digital, Media, PR, Integrated, Young Marketers. Participants race against the clock to generate ideas before presenting them to an accomplished industry panel.

Real work briefs are provided by sponsors Etika, KFC, Telekom Malaysia, Sime Darby Property and GO Communications, and teams of two are then given 24 hours, 48 hours for Integrated, to generate and present their solutions.

The Digital Gold winners at Spikes Malaysia 2019 went on to win Gold, Best in Asia-Pacific, bringing glory to Malaysia’s young talent.

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The APPIES is an annual event that presents a rare opportunity for creative, media, digital and marketing agencies or brands to present their best campaigns to the industry.

This is the only event where Live Presentations meets Live Judging.

Similar to TED Talks, The APPIES is the chance for great presenters with outstanding work to show it off to some of the industry’s most important industry leaders.

This year’s winners will receive Gold, Silver or Bronze trophies for 21 categories, and 6 special Best of Best categories (red trophies) that require no submissions!

Campaign entries must have run between June 2023 to May 2024

Submissions Deadline
30th June 2024

APPIES Festival – Judging & Presentations
11th – 12th July 2024 (Malaysia)


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