May 30, 2012
Facebook. Editor-in-Chief's Note: The fallout from the Facebook-GM confrontation continues. GM marketing guru Joel Ewanick wanted more out of Facebook, including page takeovers, and Facebook instead gave him a lecture on what Facebook is and what Facebook will or will not do. Without commenting on the GM situation directly, Facebook's VP-Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson told AdAge that she doesn't see anything like a traditional home-page takeover in Facebook's future. Facebook believes, according to AdAge, that its value as a marketing platform is in social ads, where brands get their fans to spread the word among friends and brands pay to extend the reach of those endorsements. "Marketers that don't quite get that those are the two fundamental pillars that make us different often will refer back to the formats that they've been used to over the last couple decades," she said. Hmm, there's that Facebook arrogance creep rearing its ugly head again. Corporate America is just too dumb to understand when it comes right down to it, because Facebook is brilliant and different, and their 900+ million users deserve different and better too. Except that now that it's a publicly traded company, the Facebook executive brain trust is going to find out that their touchy-feely view of how special they think they are isn't going to cut it for long. "We have 900+ million people on the platform and our job is to make the advertising on the platform as good and as compelling as content from [users'] parents or their friends or their boyfriends or girlfriends," Everson continued. "So when a marketer asks for something like that, that's just not what works on Facebook, so we would say no." But beyond the group hugs, Facebook doesn't really do all that much. I've said it before and I'll say it again, corporate advertisers - especially the domestic car companies, which are perennially labeled as being tragically un-hip - flock to Facebook because they're afraid of not being there, not because it gives them all that much else. I don't think Joel Ewanick was trying to turn over the anthill with his directive to pull out of Facebook's sponsored ad content, but he certainly triggered an intense discussion. And that discussion centers around this fundamental question: what exactly are corporate advertisers getting for being on Facebook? That question wasn't asked before, it was just about being on Facebook because, wow, it is so special and of-the-moment. Except that when corporate America steps back and thinks about it (thanks to Mr. Ewanick), Facebook isn't all that. And the need to be on there isn't all that encompassing or compelling. - PMD
Autoextremist. Editor-in-Chief's Note: On June 1, 1999, in a land of rote journalism and predictable go-along-to-get-along auto industry coverage, this website made its debut. And ever since the impact and influence of AE have spread far and wide. As I wrote in The United States of Toyota, "Born out of a defiance and frustration with the status quo that I believed was stifling creativity and squeezing the very life out of the automobile business - particularly as practiced here in the Motor City - and then fueled by my passion and vision for how great the business could become again and what was necessary in order for it to get there, Autoextremist.com was not only a labor of love for me personally - it became an influential force to be reckoned with in this industry with an impact far beyond my most vivid imagination." WordGirl and I will continue to bring you "The Bare-Knuckled, Unvarnished, High-Octane Truth" as long as the passion and the fire burn bright. Thank you to all of our readers old and new for coming along for the ride. - PMD
Ford, SEMA. The SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women is a collaboration between Ford Motor Company and the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Led by the SEMA Businesswomen’s Network (SBN), a 2013 Mustang GT donated by Ford will be completely modified using the winning design from start to finish by women. Beginning with three concepts developed by women designers and concluding with women volunteers performing the hands-on modifications, the project is meant to shine light on women working in the automotive aftermarket and to encourage more women to pursue careers in the industry.
(Photos courtesy of Ford)
High Gear: Designed by SBN Member, Jennifer Seely of Ford Motor Company, High Gear is a luxury Mustang concept inspired by international products in categories such as jewelry, couture clothing and architecture. "Designed to stimulate the senses by fusing luxury and power, the results are fresh and exciting, propelling Mustang into a whole new arena," Ford says.
Chromatic: Designed by SBN Member, Jennifer Seely of Ford Motor Company, the ultimate pop culture edition Mustang takes a futuristic design approach drawing inspiration from such pop culture elements as street art and products for an exciting color palette that is free of all boundaries and disciplines. The anthracite-colored chrome body as a base exemplifies the neon colors bringing this Mustang to life. Design details include anthracite-colored chrome exterior, bright cyan wheels and white leather racing interior coupled with an aggressive track suspension and V8 roar.
Fast Metal: Designed by SBN Member, Theresa Contreras from L&G Enterprises. Theresa takes the American muscle car to a whole other level using tone-on-tone dark metallic finishes and red accents for a dramatic design that underscores Mustang’s DNA, raw speed and power.
Voting is now open to the public to help select the final concept for the first-ever SEMA Mustang Build Powered by Women. To vote now through June 3, go to http://www.hotrod.com/all-female-mustang-build-ford-sweepstakes/ to view the three different design concepts and vote on the one they would like to see used for the build. Voters will also be entered into drawings to win several prizes.
Editor-in-Chief's Note: We hear from our Northwest coast correspondent - Dave Guyette - this week, and his thoughts on the kind of technology he'd like to see in his car. Enjoy. - PMD
The Top Ten Technologies I want to see in my car.
By David Guyette
Portlandia. The Ford Go Further commercial inspired me, and not in a good way. It reminded me that too often automakers are touting not the mechanical 'rightness' of their products, (i.e., how well it actually WORKS as a car) but the gee-whiz 'features' their newest model has to offer. Front and center for Ford in their Go Further ad? Assisted parking.
It's just one more step in a slow death march that takes the driver out of the driving experience. I say it all started with cruise control, and today we've got cars filled with so much high-tech gadgetry that they can virtually drive themselves. This is something I'm NOT in favor of. I need assisted parking about as much as I need assisted living, and if I can't park my car on my own, then I don't want to live.
I am a realist. I understand that, in a world of 'what ya got today?', to 'Go Further', automakers have to give you something brand new, and it is easier to add iTunes to your dashboard than it is to roll out direct injection across your entire product line. Still, even within this confine, I'd really wish these guys would give me something more useful. I offer a few suggestions, and include catchy brand-names to identify them. I'd take any of them over Assisted Parking.
The Top Ten Auto Technologies I want? read on.
10. Will it fit? Sensors in my trunk tell me exactly how much room I have left inside, and how I'll need to rearrange that crap just so I can fit my latest purchase from the home improvement store.
9. Bag-it. A reactive armor system that will field dress that deer I just hit on the roadway. All the night-vision radar in the world won't tell me how a spooked deer is gonna react as I approach. Yeah, I clipped Bambi, and instead of air-bagging me, I'd like my car to do something to help me clean up the mess, and take it home.
8. Road Runner. An integrated system of electronics and software whose purpose is to find the cop, jam his radar, scramble his communications, and make him give up chase and go to the bathroom. You: Road Runner. Him: Wiley Coyote with self-destructing ACME equipment. Legalities aside, every enthusiast's dream.
7. No' Mess. The anti-theft device that hard-tasers anybody trying to key my paint job. Cold-cock that #$#%, and put him on the ground. Don't mess with my ride.
6. Sh*t Sensor. Warning device to tell when passengers are going to puke, spill beer, or otherwise soil their pants in my back seat.
5. Eleven. A noise-cancelling system that bleeds exhaust from the muffler when passengers get annoying. Driving is a quiet, meditative exercise for me. Unfortunately, women often choose this time to start deep conversations about relationship status. Honey, can we talk? No. Sorry, can't hear you. Engine sounds really bad right now.
4. Karmen Frisker. X-ray powered side headlamps to scan hitchhikers for weapons and drugs. Hey, I'd *like* to help a fella out as I go up and down I-5, but where I live, a lot of those folks have 'extra baggage' I don't want to get busted with. Legalize it first, then we'll talk.
3. Mighty Wind. An EPA-certified air quality monitor to tell me how much oil that guy in front of me is burning. Maybe it's not oil. Maybe it's worse. Ever wonder what you breathe as you drive the TriState around Gary, Indiana? Now you'll know.
2. Yellow Flag. Profiling software to identify potential NASCAR-inspired tailgaters in traffic. They aren't tailgating now, but in the future, will they? That's what I want to know. Predictive Artificial Intelligence software can solve this. You can never be too sure.
1. OK Park. Perimeter cameras, armed with pattern recognition and imaging software, identify broken glass and vomit stains on a potential parking spot. I don't need a sensor to be told I have a flat tire. I can figure that out on my own. Tell me where I'm likely to get a flat tire, and I'll make my own choices in life. Bonus points if you can warn me that I'm about to soil my Doc Martens as I step out. You might think I'd also want to be warned of a 'high crime' parking location, but if the equipment package includes No' Mess (see No. 7 above), I'll be adequately protected.
Milanese coach builder Zagato has teamed-up with BMW in "a unique collaboration." The result? The BMW Zagato Coupé. The car will be unveiled at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este, one of the most exclusive events in the world of classic cars and motorcycles, on the banks of Lake Como. According to BMW, the "... BMW Zagato Coupé embodies the unbridled fascination of cars and fuses the design DNA of the two companies into a fresh and distinctive whole. This one-off model is the product of many hours of skilled hand-craftsmanship and breathes new life into the tradition of coach building." Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice-President BMW Group Design, and Andrea Zagato, who represents the third generation of his family to sit at the helm of the company, are long-time appreciators of each other’s work. Zagato chief designer Norihiko Harada and van Hooydonk have been friends for many years, so when Andrea Zagato proposed a collaboration, it wasn’t long before the decision was made to build a car at Zagato that embodies the two companies’ passion for cars, according to BMW. Founded by Ugo Zagato in 1919, Zagato is the only automotive body manufacturer still in independent ownership.
Dr Andrea Zagato, President of Zagato, and Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President BMW Group Design, at a meeting in Milan.