The long-running ad wars between Audi and BMW are just one example of taking the fight to the competition in the effort to sell more cars, and this week both Corvette and Infiniti have thrown down their gloves at respective rivals. But does this sort of advertising pay off in the end?
We're not sure of the final effect it has on bottom-line sales figures--though we're looking into the matter--but our gut instinct is that it's little more than fuel for the existing fan-boy fire.
Take Corvette's call-out to its competitors in GT racing, for example: BMW, Porsche, and Ferrari all face off against Corvette Racing's loosely ZR1-based machines, but this weekend at Sebring, the ad that posited the Vette's superiority ended up looking a bit lame in comparison to the race results, which saw BMW take first and second in class, with the Corvettes coming in third and fourth. The American supercoupe still beat the Porsche and Ferrari entries, but does the braggadocio come off when the results on the track don't match?
Infiniti has taken a similar tack with its latest M35 Hybrid commercial. Blasting past a Lexus GS hybrid on the freeway, the M35h driver sits smugly in the cockpit while the Lexus driver grimaces in consternation and the voiceover asks (presumably rhetorically), "Why join the pursuit when you can take the lead. The Infiniti M Hybrid. The high performance hybrid." Aside from poking fun at Lexus' slogan and making a case for the target M Hybrid driver being even more of a jerk than the Lexus hybrid buyer, what's the point here? Wouldn't some track footage, tires squealing and engine growling, be a better enticement to people actually interested in an efficient performance/luxury sedan?
Let us know what you think, since you, the buying enthusiast public, are, after all, the ultimate bellwether for the success of failure of these ads.