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2010 Honda Accord Crosstour Sideswiped By Facebook, Twitter

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2010 Honda Crosstour

2010 Honda Crosstour

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Social media websites are the next great frontier for automakers. So far, no company has really hit a homerun in that arena -- not even Ford, with its vaguely annoying and cloying "Fiesta Movement" campaign. In fact, we may be witnessing one of the first social media strikeouts, brought on by a couple of curve balls thrown by Facebook and Twitter. We're speaking about the unfortunate fate of the 2010 Honda Accord Crosstour.

The problems began when Honda's enthusiastic PR staff set up a Facebook fan page for the Crosstour, hoping to generate buzz before its official rollout this fall. Unfortunately, as anyone who's spent time on Facebook knows, once something has been posted, you can't really control the tone of comments (apart from deleting them). Positive or negative, you take them as they come. And the Honda Accord Crosstour has taken a lot of negative comments.

Of course, no one has actually driven the vehicle, so the comments have only to do with the vehicle's appearance. Still, having potential (and sometimes loyal) customers saying things like, "Oh God, it looks like the mutant redheaded offspring of a Chrysler Crossfire and a Pontiac Aztec" is never a good sign. Chances are, a test run around the block isn't going to change such opinions -- if Honda salesfolks can even get buyers behind the wheel in the first place.

Things aren't going any better for the Crosstour on Twitter. Go ahead: pop over and run a quick search for "Crosstour". Apart from the article on Mashable.com (cited below), most of the comments we're seeing right now read like "Ugly! ", "OMG!", and "What were they thinking?" This is the problem with Web 2.0: yes, it engages and encourages interaction, but that interaction doesn't always go as planned. Just ask Sacha Baron Cohen.

Sadly, for Honda, there's nothing to be done. Twitter is an unruly beast with no real means of control. Facebook is slightly different in that Honda could opt to take down the fan page, but that would generate even more negative publicity -- and likely a great deal of outrage from Honda enthusiasts who want to be heard. Things may improve by the time the vehicle appears in the flesh, so speak, but we're not holding our breath. Maybe it's time for Plan B?

[Mashable]

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Comments (20)
  1. Honda has created their own Edsel with this one. They wanted to incorporate the sedan's cut lines and visual cues: check. Hatch-backy hump, though americans don't like hatchbacks: check. A-B-C-D-E-F-G pillars: check. Dorky grille: check. Fugly/joy-sticky transmission shifter from Odyssey and Pilot: probable check. They would have been better off going their own way a la Ridgeline. Instead, they seem to be channeling all the beauty of French cars with all the quirky blandness of japanese kitchen appliances. Actually, that's not fair to japanese kitchen appliances. Previously I was complaining about how GM was tightly controlling the "experience" held at their proving grounds--now we see what happens when the message is allowed to be determined by customers. Didn't someone on their US design team warn of this impending calamity?
     
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  2. I really love the unconventional design. Brilliant.
     
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  3. Personally I like the car, it looks a bit like an MDX. Too bad there arent enough crossover drivers on facebook
     
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  4. while all is fair i guess, think this underscores the unbelievable risk associated with trying to utilize some of these tools pro-actively when the power to comment anonymously exists. if folks have to reveal their names or other revealing information, i would assume the pure volume of snarkiness would decline a great deal. hate to see a bludgeoning when all that's revealed is a photo.
     
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  5. Are crossover cars actually popular cars? I hardly see any on the street.
     
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  6. I'm starting to get a little nervous about Honda styling these days, I have to say. The butched-up truck-like new Pilot went in exactly the wrong direction, just as big, nasty, butch, SUV-like trucks are starting to go out of style, and now this.
    The BMW 5-Series GT shows (to my eyes) that you can absolutely make an elegant five-door hatchback. But it's hard; I haven't seen a Panamera in the flesh, but it doesn't do it in pics, and about the Toyota Venza, the less said the better.
    Also curious to see how the Acura ZDX looks ....
     
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  7. I tend to agree that the Crosstour is from the only-its-mother-could-love-it school of design, but that doesn't mean it's not a great car. The same could be said of the BMW 5-series GT's looks, but that's a very nice car to ride in.
    I guess I have a soft spot for ugly-but-functional cars.
     
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  8. Larry: Crossovers are everywhere-maybe you are having trouble recognizing them. Gotta love Richard Read (who makes me nuts but I love his articles). Social media is just plain dangerous for people and companies and why automakers are jumping into it beyond me. No one is ever going to say anything, "good," which I assume is the goal. Anyway, the car isn't that bad and I like the sloping back end. At least it won't look like a little box making its way down the road. I don't think it is a, "calamity,"-that would belong to Scion.
     
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  9. These fastbacks are especially love-it-or-hate it WRT styling, and very hard to make universally appealing. The same was true in the '80s.
    The proportions on this one look quite alright (better than the Venza, that's for sure), but the choice to migrate to the huge chrome grilles and oversized Honda emblems across the model line, just as it seems that subtle is in, is puzzling. Perhaps it was something that did well in clinics...
    Overall, would have rather had the Accord Touring! Would have saved them a lot of development money, too.
     
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  10. @AutoBoy: The funny thing is, on Facebook, no one can comment anonymously. Sure, you can delete your profile pic, but your name is always front and center. (Much like mine is on this comment, thanks to Facebook Connect.) And yet, the comments on Facebook are just as snarky as those on Twitter, where you can, in fact, be completely anonymous. No one's afraid of being brutally honest anymore. Personally, I blame Simon Cowell.
    _
    @Wildflower: I'd agree with you for the most part. I think social media can be an awfully dangerous thing in the wrong hands. It works great for underdogs -- spreading word about indie bands or cool nightspots or the latest viral video -- but it's not so good at promoting The Man. More niche-y products with loyal fan bases (e.g. the Mustang, the Camaro), probably do fine on the whole, but a new crossover with less-than-youthful design? Social media may be a bad idea.
     
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  11. @Wildflower: If it's any consolation, I drive myself nuts, too.
     
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  12. yeah i agree on general honda styling questions. It seemed like they amped up the new Pilot at precisely the time when folks would be looking for kinder, gentler SUV/Crossover looks (and weight, given mpg considerations).
     
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  13. The ROI on social media is not proven yet, but car companies are often willing to spend hundreds of thousands on experimental marketing. Unless you have a rock solid product you know people will love, social media has a good chance of backfiring.
     
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  14. I really like the look of the car.
     
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  15. I see this vehicle appealing to buyers after a Honda station wagon - pity it has to look so ugly.
     
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  16. The internet is a brave, new world, but viral marketing i a two edged sword. I'm curious as to how much impact it will really have in the end for the sales data on this model.
     
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  17. That is a gigantic grille.. It overpowers the ugly blacked-out headlights
    The Accord Tourer looks perfect just as it is. Why must they reinvent the wheel to fit into some imaginary new product segment?
     
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  18. @ Larry
    Depending on where in the States you live, the Toyota Matrix is considered a crossover vehicle; these are quite popular on the West Coast.
     
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  19. @Larry
    Depending on your location in the 'States the Toyota Matrix, considered a Crossover is quite popular.
     
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  20. Hated the pics, then went to honda dealership saw it, and loved it. doesn't look like it from the pics, but is really good looking car. LOVE it
     
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