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Marketing on the Edge

Marci Whitman


Marci Whitman

Estimated Reading Time

2 minutes


Recently a local car dealer here in Denver ran a TV commercial which was a bit “edgy.”  Honestly, the first time I saw it I was disappointed but this dealers commercials have been what I would call different.

Let me try and summarize the commercial.  There are always three regular actors in the commercials, Officer Odel, Shaggy and Audrey (or something like that).  In this one, Audrey is acting like a talk show host (Maury Povich), Officer Odell is dressed as a women and Shaggy is being accused of fathering a baby.

The commercial had nothing to do with car sales and was the wrong impression to give off.

The result:  a backlash of unhappy viewers who have undoubtedly called in to the dealer and voiced their lack of interest in the commercial.  Within a few weeks the commercial was pulled and a new commercial showing the “Firing” of the director of the commercial aired.  The commercial also included an apology (if you call it that) for the previously irresponsible marketing.

True, the dealer received a buzz about the commercial giving them a few more rounds on their name.  But what I would say is the commercial was in such poor taste and gave a bad impression as to their ethics that I would never purchase a car there.  I don’t feel confident that my sales person, finance manager, etc., would extend the respect I demand.

My question to you is…
Does it matter that the dealer received this bad publicity and now image?
Is that just to say that the dealer was catering to their market? (I’m only asking the question here and am not stereotyping the customers of the dealer)
Should the dealer have ran the second commercial or let things smooth over?