Marketing Report: May 29, 2006

May 29, 2006

 Toby Keith Gets More Ford TimeYou'll be seeing more of Rubenesque honky-tonker Toby Keith in Ford commercials: the Dearborn company has given Keith another year's worth of work and will get a new song from him to use in the company's "Bold Moves" campaign. The Detroit News adds that Keith's song will be used along the ditty done by American Idol Kelly Clarkson in the company's current series of ads. Ford's F-150 will also be prominently displayed at Keith concerts, as well as in a film that the country singer is appearing in with Burt Reynolds. Keogh Heads to AudiAudi of America Inc. on Wednesday named Scott Keogh, 37, a former Mercedes-Benz manager, to the post of chief marketing officer. It's a new position. Previously, the top marketing post at Audi was director of marketing. That post has been held by Stephen Berkov, 37, who now takes on the title of director of brand marketing and innovation and moves to California. Keogh is an experienced marketer, having run public relations as well as advertising at Mercedes. He also was the U.S. chief of Smart USA, but the launch of the DaimlerChrysler brand in the U.S. was scuttled when losses at Smart prompted new management at DCX to question the viability of the project. Berkov is an up-and-comer. His move to California comes at a time when Audi is trying hard to seize the opportunity it sees to gain sales and market share with new product and a much improved brand image. Audi sales are up 5.2 percent through April at 25,296. Berkov will continue to manage day-to-day advertising, dealer marketing and product integration into movies, TV and the like.-Jim Burt2007 Audi RS4 by Conor Twomey (5/15/2006)A faithful point-to-point supersedan - but is it better than the M5? Hyundai SUV Won't Be Mesa

Earlier this month, TheCarConnection reported that the name of the new full-size Hyundai SUV would be Mesa. Sources now tell TCC that the name was one of four tested for the new vehicle but that the ute will not be tagged Mesa, although the name may be used on a future vehicle, potentially a new Kia model.Spy Shots: 2008 Hyundai Mesa by Brenda Priddy (5/15/2006)South Korea's biggest yet. GM Offers Gas-Price Cap for CA, FL BuyersBuyers of select GM vehicles in the states of California and Florida can get their fuel costs capped through a unique new promotion the company has begun. Buyers can cap their gas costs at $1.99, GM says; the automaker will estimate fuel usage each month and will credit consumers the difference in gas costs based on AAA fuel-cost guidelines. GM says there will be no mileage limits on the program but buyers must sign up for OnStar service to receive the giveback. GM estimates a California buyer of a 2007 Chevy Tahoe could get a monthly rebate on a special GM debit card of more than $100 through the program. The vehicles included in the California program include the 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban (half-ton models only), Impala, and Monte Carlo; GMC Yukon and Yukon XL (half-ton models only); HUMMER H2 and H3; Cadillac SRX; Pontiac Grand Prix; and Buick Lucerne. Florida buyers are eligible if they purchase the 2006 and 2007 Chevrolet Impala and Monte Carlo, Pontiac Grand Prix, or Buick LaCrosse.TheCarConnection Drives Chevy's Camaro by TCC Team (5/22/2006)Detroit concept inching closer to production. MINI Hits the Road to MontereyMINI USA will be taking the long way from the summer's classic-car draws out west to the east. The BMW brand will sponsor a MINI Takes the States rally, which will begin at the annual Monterey Historic Automobile Races and will end at the Lime Rock Vintage Festival in Connecticut. The two-week-long, itty-bitty fiesta will celebrate MINI's appearance as the featured marque at Monterey and the recent launches of the supercharged and John Cooper Works MINIs. Participants are being asked to register online at www.minitakesthestates.com, and will be provided with wristbands for themselves and a co-pilot; the wristbands get them into free concerts, special events along the way and, no doubt, cutesy tschotschkes as well.2006 Geneva Show, Part V by TCC Team (3/1/2006)Saab Aero-X, MINI Cooper S JCW, BMW Z4 M Coupe. Toyota Hooks Up with NFL on ESPNWhile it's moving from ABC to ESPN, Monday Night Football is also attracting a new sponsor that promises to take its broadcasts to the next level online. Toyota and Lexus will join the MNF team for the season starting late this summer, splitting sponsorship of the halftime proceedings and tagging special game highlights on the ESPN Web site: "The Lexus Perfect Play," which lets fans vote on their favorite play from Sunday games, and "Monday Night Surround presented by Toyota," which pits fans against other fans in an online competition. Toyota/Lexus and ESPN will also pick fans to win trips to New York and nearby ESPN studios.   
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