Monday, December 19, 2011

How to Advertise Car Sharing (not)

So here is a series of ads from ZipCar - these being run in the Washington DC area - which plug car sharing.

The idea is "sometimes you just need a car". Which is right! Sometimes you do! Now, think of your target demographic: mostly young, urban...appreciative of smart humour...Now, dream up an ad campaign which will appeal to this crowd...Ready?

So here are two of the ads:



What do you think?

I must admit I am a little perplexed.  For starters, it doesn't actually look like these folks actually need a car. It just looks like they're being dumb and unprepared. So I'm not sure I find either of the images above very convincing, or clever, or particularly funny. Just...well...dumb. In fact, I think it is kinda stupid to insult transit users and cyclists while plugging your car sharing business; after all, these people are your target audience!

Here's another set in the series:




OK, unlike the previous images, clearly the grumpy people in these two situations do in fact need a car to haul their equipment. So maybe a passing grade here. But still, not very funny. Maybe a Thule rack on the train with the canoe on top, or the bus with a trailer behind it, would've been a little more "over the top" and hence chuckle-worthy. This, though? Meh. In fact, it'd be interesting to know exactly how many ZipCars come with roof racks or trailer hitches in order to accomodate these two situations. Not very many, I betcha. So in all likelihood the proposed solution - ZipCar - won't even work for these folks. So not very well thought out.

This is the only one that I like:

 

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