Direct Line Blog

Targeting gone wrong: part three

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Hillside, N.J.'s Route 22 Toyota might not have Procter & Gamble's marketing budget, but surely whatever they can afford to spend deserves better than this. In an email sent to a Direct Marketing News staffer on Jan. 20, Route 22 Toyota urges fans to come into the shop wearing their favorite team's colors in order to save on service packages.

Seems harmless enough; however, the dealership fails to capitalize on a HUGE opportunity to motivate anxious Giants fans (whose favorite team was two days away from qualifying for a Super Bowl berth), as well as dejected Jets and Eagles fans (two groups whose favorite team failed to make the playoffs despite lofty expectations).


The email never references the three local teams, it calls the Super Bowl the “Big Game” and the AFC and NFC champions the “American and National” champions.

“Whether your favorite team is on the roster or not, we're rewarding everyone that wears their team colors,” the email says, misusing the term “roster” in a way only someone who knows nothing about sports ever could.

Look, I realize not everyone likes sports and that some of my objections to this email might seem overly picky. But here are three important questions that need to be asked:

1) Everyone understands the significance of the Super Bowl. It's watched by 1 billion people worldwide every year. Why not call it what it is instead of using vague terminology like, “Big Game?” Are football terms copyrighted? Or is this a case of ignorance or someone cutting corners?

2) Why would you not specifically leverage the emotional attachment New York, New Jersey and Philly fans have for their football teams? You know who is most likely to come into your store. The email is targeted to a certain region. Get fans' attention by actually calling out their teams' names.

3) If you're not going to do either of the things I mentioned above, then why use football to motivate your customers at all? Why not just promote your specials and use the price points to drive traffic to your dealership and website?

This is a major missed opportunity here.

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