Back in October, I talked here on Madison Ave Insights about the FTC’s just-released Green Guides and what they would mean for marketers moving forward. The FTC moved against unfounded and overused “environmentally friendly” and “green” claims in marketing for a range of products. The standards as established challenge the use of unqualified general environmental benefit claims and asks advertisers to scientifically prove specific green claims.
One industry with a focus on the environment that needs to adapt to both the demands of the marketplace and the restrictions of the regulators is the automotive industry. At the North American International Auto Show in Detroit in January, consumers saw the latest model introductions from the automobile industry – domestic and foreign – that presented consumers with each company’s take on the best options for price, performance, versatility, fuel economy and being green.
So what’s next for the auto industry in terms of the future – both the future of the environmental and continued explosion of digital?
The Way I See It
- Automakers see a double edge sword – a marketing and sales benefit from better fuel economy, but at a higher cost to engineer and build vehicles that consumers will want and can afford. They are facing new regulations requiring them to increase fleet-wide average fuel use to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.
- I see the cycle of government pushing the industry and the industry reacting to the push to be a dangerous paradigm in the current political climate. I see the need for industry to move forward independent of government prodding by satisfying consumer demand with products that are innovative and revolutionary.
- I see automakers, both current and new, pushing forward with battery-powered, electric cars and pushing the envelope with new retail standards and business strategy. I see electric cars as being a true “environmental” automobile.
- I see the automotive industry continuing its comeback and becoming even more important as major advertisers.
- I see the need for breathtaking creative, brilliant strategy and greater use of digital, social media and mobile.
The Way The Industry Sees It
I sat down with Joel Ewanick, President and Managing Director of Global Auto Systems. Currently Joel is involved in several projects most noteworthy is as Special Advisor to the CEO of Fisker. Until last summer, Joel was the Vice President and Global Chief Marketing Officer of General Motors and prior to that Joel was Vice President of Marketing for Hyundai Motor America. In addition, he is best known for being the guy behind Hyundai Assurance. I asked Joel to discuss what’s next for environmental marketing and how the auto industry is evolving with the times.