With the Detroit bailout now a wreck, the refrain from the impacted carmakers is that a the money is still necessary, because "consumers won't buy cars from companies in bankruptcy."
But they readily flew bankrupt airlines. For years. Still do.
Since 2000, most of the major airlines have traveled in and out of bankruptcy: United, US Airways, Delta, Northwest. Continental was a visionary in this regard, throwing up its corporate hands in 1990. Frontier is still in hock.
There's a legal squabble going on between Taco Bell and rapper 50 Cent over a faux letter the company sent out, asking that the celebrity change his name for a day to "79 Cent" -- the pricepoint of one of its value meals -- and earn $10,000 for the charity of his choice.
The gangsta star has sued for trademark infringement in federal court, and Taco Bell's lawyers are counter-blathering in the press. The marketing blogosphere is ripping with analyses ranging from the utterly brilliant to the foolishly stupid.
A quick check of the headlines and blogosphere reveals some very innovative approaches to 'rescuing' GM and its brethren in Detroit.
Most all of them forsake a cash bailout (or otherwise pecuniary reward) for various plans to remake the companies: management and the boards must resign, production lines must be obligated to make only hybrid vehicles. Probably all of the ideas involve putting many thousands of people out of work, whether explicitly or implicitly required.
I enjoy Wired magazine when I'm done reading Fast Company, but this current month's issue left me wondering: where do the articles end, and the ads begin?
It's really a seamless merging of the two, at least to my uneducated eyes. Every page carries forward a design sensibility introduced on the first few pages. Quick...do the ads look like editorial, or the copy resemble ads?
You don't need to look far to see the challenges facing marketers today: consumers are more wary than they've been in years, and feel as though they have less latitude for spending than they did even a month ago ago. Credit and stock woes are forcing companies to cut back on everything, and critically scrutinize everything else.
Sales are down. Costs are up. Pressure on the top-line and bomttom-line equals a perfect storm. What's a marketer to do?
The global economic meltdown has been bad news for financial services brands, straining the media of marketing communications as much as balance sheets. The fundamental question is whether branding can overcome the rational as well as emotional reactions of depositors, investors, and policy holders.
Levi's has a significant problem: like many other iconic brands -- it's pretty much generically synonymous with the idea of "jeans" -- there's nowhere near the consumer behavior (i.e. purchases) to match consumer awareness.