Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Don't tell them in Michigan

Wednesday's Wall Street Journal (subs. req'd) has an interesting story on how General Motors is bravely planning on increased non-US sales of the "smallest" of its Hummer 4WD vehicles, the H3. Brave because a time of increased concern about global warming, oil prices, and George Bush's militarism would not seem to be a good time to be selling a teens-MPG behemoth that draws on a US military design. But the marketers have a plan -- to convince purchasers that it really won't look that out of place next to a Swatch car:

The tone of advertising slogans for the H3 also contrasts with the more attitude-filled campaign for the H2. For the H3, advertising phrases include, "Any Smaller and It Would Be European" or "Available in the Petite Section." For the H2, the tone was more aggressive, with slogans like "You give us the money, we give you the truck and nobody gets hurt."

In its attempt to sell the vehicle based on the opposite emphasis to the sales pitch in the US -- the ability to crush anything else on the road -- it's similar to how Guinness shields its home market from innovations like FastPour and Surger. Maybe GM should contact Diageo about a version of FastPour that would work for filling the H3's petrol tank.

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