According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, automakers have grown weary of hiring high-priced celebs like Ricardo Montalban and John Slattery to hawk their rides. Nowaday's, car marketers are focusing their attention on "a similarly powerful but cheaper source: young social-media influencers who have strong online followings."
Of course, this comes as news to no one except perhaps Wall Street Journal readers, who have a reputation for being older and more conservative than the general population -- and thus, in the popular imagination, more unfamiliar with modern technology*. But surely even the WSJ demographic knows that social media services like Facebook and Twitter are being used to market things, right? So the article's subheader, "Auto Makers Turn to Social Media 'Influencers' to Drive Sales", was perhaps a little unnecessary.
That said, the occasion for the article was a good one -- and one that we've already covered here at SocialCarNews.com: the launch of Lexus' Darkcasting talk show, which is part of the rollout campaign for the company's new CT 200h. The first few episodes of Darkcasting have now been posted to DarkerSideOfGreen.com, and so far, so good. Here's a clip of host Whitney Cummings interviewing author Brian Solis:
The article is also timely given last week's rollout of promoted tweets on Twitter -- the company's first real attempt to monetize the fast-growing platform. Sadly, the WSJ doesn't mention that at all, but maybe next year.
* Of course, that's just popular perception. Every few months, there seems to be a new survey showing that seniors are the fastest growing segment of internet users. John McCain is becoming the exception to the rule.