On January 8, I sat at my desk minutes before the start of work, as usual, skipping through the dailies, the Jamaica Observer first (easier to handle), then I fight myself with the Jamaica Gleaner. You might ask, “Corve, why don’t you read it online?” Well, one, I want to see the advertisements, two, I read the horoscope in the Observer, and three, there’s nothing better than picking up a newspaper and turning those pages.
I am minding my own business, skipping through the Jamaica Observer and I see this ATL advertisement.
I grabbed the arms of my chair and I literally didn’t know what to think. I was befuddled because as a ‘marketing manager’ in my head, your worst nightmare became reality. So, like any millennial, I picked up my iPhone (product placement) and I tweeted a photo, explaining how brilliant the ad is.
This led me to post this quick thought on ATL’s Facebook page and also my own personal FB page:
“One of the best print ads to come out of Jamaica in a long time. No questions asked. It’s so on point, so competitive, so in your face, so factual that BMW Jamaica hasn’t even responded to this slamming ad. Big ups to the Audi team, absolutely banging with this advertisement. I looked twice when I saw this in the Jamaica Observer, and that’s not everyday something special like this comes along that makes you double look, triple look and now I’m putting it on my Facebook in the finest quality. If you sit anywhere in marketing you will agree that this ad is a hit. Sorry finance, lawyers etc lol if you don’t get the excitement here, you may not be able to relate to the epic-ness and the fierce-ness that this ad is serving right here. This ad is a winner in my book. And you’re seeing more Audi on our streets – my fav is the red - #goodnightoldluxury”
All day Wednesday, I thought about this advertisement. But, my thoughts were some where else. As I sat in the taxi heading home, I thought about the marketing team at BMW Jamaica, and the shitty day they must have had. It must have been a nightmare because for those who can’t relate on how excellent this ad is; this is like the JLP producing the most damning ad on the PNP days before a general election, and it could cause you to lose it all. That’s how smart, spot on and effective this advert was.
Sitting in a marketing department has taught me a great deal. Not many commercials can translate board room and marketing discussions, so that a graphic designer can create and translate the expressed thought. That is what is really unique about this ad. This ad is an indictment on all of ATL’s competitors, moreso, Mercedes Benz and BMW. If you understand the local environment how BMW Jamaica dominated the market, the new ATL showroom and how ATL has managed to align the brand strategically in Jamaica, then you will see this ad in a different perspective. Let’s go further, look at the events ATL and their brands endorse – they endorsed Collection Moda – the best fashion week ever staged in Jamaica, they are behind the Jamaica Observer’s biggest events – food awards and they make it work. So this ad is literally saying, we caught you sleeping and we are now dominating the field you starred.
The minute the competitor saw this advert, they should have responded, the following day. Instead, Christopher McFarlane (Sales and Marketing Manager at Mitsubishi Jamaica -aligned with ATL’s competitor) posted this on ATL Jamaica’s FB page:
“Wow. It’s funny how the facts and figures don’t back up ATL’s claim. According to them, BMW was sleeping, but the facts show that even if they were asleep they sold SIGNIFICANTLY more cars than Audi in any period. Fact is, if you ask them to prove how many times they have out-sold BMW in the last 2 years you may not get a response. They may actually say only once, but…The fact is that the Audi is a very nice brand, as is BMW, as is Mercedes Benz. There is no need to degrade one, to sell another. Why not try and sell on the merit of what you have..? False or trickery advertising may be cool, but only until someone calls you out and asks for you to show the Fact Sheet to back up your claim. May we please see your claim in figures, ATL?”
Christopher McFarlane must be called out for this brazen and unprofessional behaviour he expressed on the social media network Facebook. Of course, Jamaica as advanced as we are with leading Caribbean businesses, world-class marketing executives is still without a marketing association. There is one way to respond to ATL’s claim and that should be reflected in the marketplace. Any other unabashed act is unbecoming of the profession.
On Sunday, four days later, Mercedes Benz Jamaica, pulled out an advert of their own. Was this their cheesy response?
Let’s not begin to analyse on this hot mess Mercedes Benz published.
I’ll keep you posted.
big up the audi team, the graphics man and the manager who signed off on this ad. mad a road.