Bentley harbouring concerns over the Aston Martin DBX
A rather odd place to advertise might just be signalling alarm from the British aristocrat.
There have been a litany car adverts that are unmemorable, safe and almost sleep provoking over the decades. None of them courtesy of the biggest names in automotive dreams, ask yourself when you last switched on the TV or opened your computer and watched an advert for a Ferrari jump in as you start watching your favourite sitcom. Thought not.
These halo marques run lots of different types of advertising, but it’s usually at racetracks, printed motoring magazines, or the occasional physical appearance in a city or high traffic area. It would only serve as an exercise in absurdity for Lamborghini, Aston Martin or Pagani to advertise during Coronation Street, and if they did fancy a punt at a mass-market reminder of their existence for the eyeballs of people that believe their KIA Sorento is simply the best machine in existence, they would surely have flamethrowers, laser shows and an aerobatics aircraft in the opening shot.
Porsche are the notable exception, which the recent celebrations of their history, in an attempt to flog the new electric chapter. Easy to forgive, as long as they keep offering 911’s with row your own shifters to the shrivelling percentage of new car buyers that want them, they deserve a pat on the back for a job well done.
"the day we see the spirit of ecstasy flogging jacked-up limo’s in the Emmerdale ad break, a group call will be needed to the local airfield to find out how the pigs got off the ground."
So what are we slowly grinding toward, no doubt its something to do with Bentley...
A bit of afternoon team building was needed a few weeks ago and so an online crossword was found from the far reaches of the internet. Zoom was given a rest in favour of another work-sharing platform, although the recent rise of Zoom has made me wonder whether Mazda might rehash the old slogan and do something clever with, nothing so far.
A box in the corner of the website appeared as we all shouted '18 down, Giraffe!' at the poor elected typist of the group, the timer ticking away. To my surpirse, the box suddenly filled with an advert for Bentley. This on a site that looked as though it had been created in 1999 and lost in hibernation since rumours of the millennium bug.
A six-second clip, repeated over and over with a woman, getting into her Bentayga, driving it on an empty road at pedestrian speed and then a black screen.
It caught almost all our attention immediately, and I realised that I couldn’t think of any other Bentley advert I had seen apart from the printed page.
Now, this may be a stroke of pure genius from Bentley, perhaps they know something we don't about the internet habits of their buyers on a Wednesday afternoon. There was certainly no genius to the advert which was as forgettable as a supermarket ham sandwich.
It didn’t take long for conversation to flow, why now, why the Bentayga, maybe because of the Aston Martin DBX. Surely, Bentley places more concern on the Rolls Royce Cullinan, the day we see the spirit of ecstasy flogging jacked-up limo’s in the Emmerdale ad break, a group call will be needed to the local airfield to find out how the pigs got off the ground.
I know the Bicester gliders club will have a very concerned journalist from the MilesDriven on the line.
The only logic that could be placed on Bentley choosing now to advertise would surely be the DBX, that can claim its own chassis, unlike the assembled parts on the Bentley. That’s unfair as Aston raided Mercedes pretty hard for their creation of utilitarian speed, but the styling is true to the Aston brand, unlike the heavily modified Audi bones the Bentley makes do with. Then again the previous RR Phantom shared many components with a 7-series, and millionaire buyers still flew over to the dealerships landing pads to buy them.
Perhaps then, this is nothing to do the DBX, maybe attempting to move the Bentayga out the showrooms as difficult pushing as it is selling. A call into a friend that once worked for a BMW dealer group marketing team got the response of 'you're joking, I would have been laughed out the room if I'd had suggested that for a 7-Series, let alone Rolls Royce. Bentley must have got an intern in for the day'. Some elaboration was offered, in the assurance of brand identity and the desire to appear special high-end luxury brands have targeted audiences that they spend millions cultivating. It's why you see huge adverts for Breitling at Heathrow airport, and why you don't see the Ritz on Groupon. Aston Martin certainly has no intention of following suit, the DBX has already garnered 5,000 pre-orders through the well-established tactic of special access. Otherwise known as calling all your customers and inviting them for a free evening of tiny chocolates and other goodies (wine and cheese in years gone by) and showing off a near-complete demo of the new car. A few orders and some strong leads are made of it and the night is a good'n.
The new Bentayga makes the most of its origins and is a special place to be, hopefully for them, they capitalise on their new tactics.