CEOs in Ads Make Comeback
Heard about some new automotive-advertisements coming to our TV sets. CEOs will have the starring roles. Have to wonder why now? I can’t say that Detroit chiefs are known for grabbing the spotlight. Yes, there was Lee Iacocca but times have changed.
Bill Ford of Ford Motor Company is continuing his advertising series on safety and innovation that began in October 2005. Yet this time Ford will be talking about our dependence on oil and what Ford Motor is doing about our so-called “addiction.” Ford will be discussing his company’s efforts to improve fuel efficiency in an attempt to improve “the company’s environmental reputation.” More on these ads at mlive.com
His counterpart in Germany, DaimlerChrysler Chairman Dieter Zetsche, will also be featured in advertisements next month. The ads will reportedly convey the distinctiveness of U.S. Chrysler vehicles embedded with a little of that prestigious German technology we all lust after. Apparently, the article on detnews.com where I read about the launch says that Zetsche will be subtly reminding people that the fusion of American-German cultures is what distinguishes his line of cars from main line Detroit manufacturers.
CEOs appearing in ads more or less started with Iacocca. We then went through several years of dot.com advertisements where CEOs were as important as the products and business models they were hyping. Lately, most advertisements where CEOs are featured exist for the sole purpose of announcing a merger, begging shareholders to renounce a hostile suitor or showing a new face because the previous one is tainted.
Since CEO-starring ads have declined over the past several years as CEOs averted people’s eyes due to Enron, WorldCom and Adelphi, these new CEO-starring ads might have the advantage of standing out and showcasing commitment.
Being a CEO-junkie as I am, I have to hand it to these boys for agreeing to be in these ads. I am sure it is the last thing they planned on doing this year. Someone had to convince them that they had no choice as public opinion increasingly sours as gas prices hike up. We have to give each CEO an applause for doing what must go against their grain. For that reason, I will listen to what they have to say.
CEOs, CEOs in ads, Bill Ford, Ford Motor Company, Dieter Zetsche, DaimlerChrysler, oil, automotive, environmental reputation, CEO-starring ads, fuel efficiency, German technology, Lee Iacocca, dot.com CEOs