Thursday, January 12, 2012

Funny Scooter Commercials from other countries

It's a shame there's no real promotion in the US for scooters on TV. I personally enjoy the funny scooter commercials we see in Europe and Asia simply for their marketing value, but it always reminds me how this type of marketing won't work in America due to our small numbers of sales. If you watch the video below you will see some amazing production with special effects, robots, space aliens, and all sorts of live action work on this Yamaha commercial.

Aside from the occasional plug on a TV show, it's just too cost prohibited. A few small dealers run late night ads which I'm always entertained by, but in the end TV commercials will never work in the US because of the diversity of the market and end users.

When I was a scooter importer we attempted to get Malaguti TV ads in markets where our dealers were doing extremely well, it really didn't generate any sales. Then we went for product placement ( that DUCATI scooter in all the early VIP TV show spots that was us a Malaguti in the background ) again generated very limited brand awareness. The average American won't know the difference between a TNG scooter on the TV Show Scrubs and the average Vespa. As a matter of fact I cringe when I hear people at stores call a Jonway a Vespa, but that's like me at a pharmaceutical convention calling every pain killer Tylenol. A FlyScooters given away on the Price is Right is only important to the owners of FlyScooters, but once that brand goes away its meaningless. So in the end as we discovered by running ads in Cycle World ($15k an ad) it only pays if you do it continuously and you do it for brand awareness. There is no direct correlation in America between ads and scooter sales since you a majority of buyers who buy based on price ( Chinese low end ) dealers who buy on price ( Chinese low end ) and high consumers who buy based on brand awareness ( Vespa ) So in the end if Piaggio USA spends $50,000 for a 15 second spot in the Transformers movie it makes sense for them because they operate on a global scale. Same goes for any Global company. At this point it pays for Kymco USA to spend money in Hollywood if it translates to markets like Taiwan ( #1 in Taiwanese sales ) or Italy ( #3 in sales below Honda / Piaggio ) so more brands much like Honda have to think globally.

In developed markets like Asia you see amazing high production TV commercials. These now have analytics attached to them with websites that can track the commercial to actual sales of the units. Promotions in Japan lead to prizes and in Italy they advertise government and regional rebates on new units.

Below are some of the cooler ads from the last year we've spotted. Enjoy.

Italy - Piaggio thinks globally now as you can see the same video is used for dealers in the USA.

Yamaha another global brand does have local videos in more competitive markets like Thailand, Taiwan, and Singapore.

SYM - Taiwan commercials

Kymco - Taiwan only videos such as the Manny Promo Spots.

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