This topic came to me when I was watching the new Netflix hit film "Six Underground". The movie was an action-packed shooting film with lots of car chases, obviously made for the younger crowd. I noticed right from the start that the movie was sponsored by Alfa Romeo. The main character drove a bright lime green Alfa Romeo Giulia. This is just one example of great brand visibility that most certainly reaches its target audience. Just think about the Fast & Furious franchise.
Consequently, I believe movies are one of the ideal places for car brands to reach the younger audience. To support my claim, it’s worth mentioning that when I doublechecked the car model from Google for this text, Google automatically knew what I was looking for. That means I wasn’t the only one to search for the car’s name in that movie. In addition, there were many whole articles written about Alfa Romeo and other cars featured in this movie.
Many people my age, me included, don’t follow the so-called official channels. The young don’t really watch launch events or follow car brands on Twitter, but you can be sure that if anything interesting pops up, it will be noticed. Often the main source of information for the young are either their friends that talk about something new, or third-party YouTube videos on new car models. Alternatively, the cool-factor of the car is so great, that it alone is enough to reach the young crowd. That may sound vague, so let me explain.
When talking about successful marketing in the automotive industry, it’s hard not to mention Tesla. They’ve managed to create incredible hype over their cars and now their sales have gone through the roof. So, where does the hype come from?
I’ll give an example. I think many from the “older” generations have heard the mega-hit app called TikTok. Where people make short videos with music behind them… You probably know it. If you don’t, you’ve probably been living under a rock since it passed two billion downloads last spring.
Anyways, Tesla has been very visible there. And not by the company itself, but by the Telsa owners who are also using TikTok. There are countless videos of people showing off the cool features of their Tesla, taking their grandmother for a ride with the autopilot, pranking their friends with the fart feature or answering frequently asked questions such as can someone prank you by unplugging your charger and pretty much whatever you can think of. Some of the things may even sound silly to someone not familiar with the app but hey, if it works, it works. Many of the viral videos from TikTok often get reposted to Instagram and other common social media platforms, so the coverage just gets bigger and bigger. And this coverage is 100% free for Tesla, they get it just with their “cool-factor”.
Like before, there probably won’t be more than one or two “cool” things at a time. Therefore, the brands have to compete harder than before to really reach their target audience without using millions and millions on product placement in a Fast & Furious movie. They’ll have to find new channels like Tesla conquered TikTok and shift their focus away from the traditional information channels like Twitter since they really don’t cut it anymore. They’ll have to make sure that their products have some kind of “cool” or “wow” -factor, otherwise they’ll lose their audience to more intriguing brands.