Friday, February 12, 2010

Woods not a good Buic salesman

One of the things I could never understand about GM was why they paid Tiger Woods to be the pitchman for Buick. It always seemed an odd fit, seems that I was right [USA Today].

My impression of Buick was that it was little more than an excuse to charge a slightly higher price for a range of uninspiring sedans made from standard GM parts. That is not an impression that you break by paying a celebrity to drive it when they would obviously be much happier in a Porsche or a Ferrari.

Seeing Woods step out of a Buick was never going to make people think 'hey I want to drive what he drives'. To the extent the brand of the car registered at all most people would think either 'rental' or 'being paid to drive it'.

People understand that Woods is also paid to tout the goods Nike makes in low wage sweatshops of course. But there the idea is that the spokesperson has at least some input into the goods on sale. It is unlikely he would stay with Nike clubs and balls unless they were amongst the best in the industry, there is the expectation that he at least sees the clothing range before it launches.

Arnold Palmer was a very successful spokesperson for Rolex for the simple reason that it was totally believable that a Rolex is what Palmer would choose to wear. It is hard to imagine many spokespersons that that would be true of for Buick, which is probably why the brand is best buried.

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