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Marketing WTF: Smart, Little Debbie Give Away A ForTwo

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smart fortwo edition limited three 006

smart fortwo edition limited three 006

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To be successful at marketing, companies have to shill their products in a variety of ways: on TV, in print, via editorial coverage, and so on. Partnerships with other companies and organizations can be a great way to generate awareness, too -- remember when Oprah Winfrey gave away those sweet Pontiac G6s? Even though Pontiac lost money by donating the 276 cars, its return on investment was huge, and the story stayed in the headlines for weeks. If only GM had targeted the right demographic and stayed ahead of that pesky tax issue, who knows where Pontiac might be today?

Sadly, not every strategic partnership seems that well thought-out. Case in point: Smart's car giveaway partnership with Little Debbie. Are snack cake fans really a target market for the ForTwo, or did Smart just go stupid for a minute? [SmartUSA via JV]

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Comments (3)
  1. Here at Little Debbie, we think our partnership with Smart has been a fantastic experience for everyone involved, especially our fans.
    Your blog post implies that people who enjoy snacks would, for some reason, not enjoy a Smart ForTwo. In fact, our custom-designed “Cupcake Cars” have been a huge hit everywhere we’ve brought them across America, and we constantly hear feedback on Twitter and Facebook about how much people want to win the Smart Car we’re giving out as the grand prize in our Share-A-Thon Giveaway.
    So while Little Debbie and Smart might seem like an unexpected combination, we think it’s been a blast, and thousands of people out there seem to feel the same way. If you haven’t seen the commercial we’ve been running that features the Cupcake Cars, I encourage you to check it out and see how well these two fun brands can work together:
    http://www.youtube.com/thereallittledebbie
    Sincerely,
    David Griner
    Social media coordinator, Little Debbie
     
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  2. I guess smart went for the "cute" demographic, which makes sense given the highly impractical nature of the car outside of commuters and city dwellers (who have probably already bought all the 4-2s they'll need).
     
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  3. I still think the match-up of carbs and minicars is curious. I don't need to spell that out, do I?
     
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