The 2013 Toyota RAV4 Crossover

The Toyota RAV4 invented the SUV category.  Well, the bar just got raised.  The new RAV4 is here.
             Let’s talk about the look.  Gone are the conservative designs of the past.  Toyota’s ushered in formed headlights and taillights, with sweeping lines that are reminiscent of the RAV4’s cool cousin, the Highlander. 
             Remember the spare tire on the back of the car? Gone. It’s now underneath the rear cargo area, allowing for a remote controlled hatchback.  Inside, it’s roomy enough for a size XXL to travel in comfort.
             Also, say goodbye to the V6 engine.  Toyota has replaced it with 2.5L four.  An engine that’s more fuel-efficient yet…delivers a powerful cruising experience.
            One thing you’ll definitely like: on average, there is more than thousand dollars worth of cool equipment added to the standard list— without any change to the MSRP.
             Seeing is believing.  So is driving.  If I had a driver’s license, you know that’s what I’d be doing.  But I don’t—and that’s a whole other story ;)

The Original. The New Improved Original

Chevrolet’s Corvette is one of the most iconographic automotive brands in the world. So when the totally redesigned 2014 ‘Vette was introduced at the Detroit Auto Show, you could hear the car world gasp in awe. What’s all the fuss about?
When the 1000-member team started the design of the 2014 Corvette they met the standard requirements for an all American dream high performance car. A big engine, race car handling, easy on the eyes. You know, the usual suspects for a Corvette. Except for one more giant hoop the team had to jump through: Gasoline consumption.
Powering through gas was not an option for the new Corvette—and not just for the obvious reason of keeping green. Because of new government regulations, a car that guzzles gas will trigger fines, leaving that car un-built. As Tadge Juechter, Corvette’s chief engineer said “There won’t be a Corvette if we don’t care about fuel economy.”
After the near extinction of the American automotive industry in 2009, the Corvette symbolizes its rebirth. It’s a symbol to the entire world that American design can lead the industry—at a better price and enhanced performance than its European competitors.
Corvette lovers, including us, are going to ask “when will the new Corvette be at O’Regan’s On Robie?”
When we find out, you’ll be the first to know… After we take a test drive!

Tweets and Likes to Sales and Dollars?

Oh, hello!  Remember last week when I told you about the CMA social media conference Colin and I attended in Toronto?  It was an amazing conference full of useful information.  In case you didn’t read, it was all about whether or not social media is good for businesses.  Here’s the thing: when going over the conference in my head, I realized that we were never really given a solid answer.  So, is social media good for businesses?

Some companies are banking on social media as a great way to get a buzz out there.  That buzz should really be bringing in the dollars right?  Recently, while reading Fast Company, I came across an article that tackled the exact same question.  Do “likes” and retweets add up to sales?

 Take Audi, for example.  With approximately 3 million “engaged” fans, Audi has become the most “engaging” entity in the vast expanse of Facebook.  That’s right.  Audi has surpassed the fan power of Justin Bieber.   Audi has even taken the next step in the world of advertising and social media.  During the SuperBowl, they revealed the first ever television ad with an official Twitter hashtag (#ProgressIs) being flashed on the screen.  The response was huge.

The hashtag went viral on Twitter and the “best tweet” containing the hashtag won an amazing trip to California to test drive Audis and have $25,000 donated to the charity of their choice (way to go @jetsetbrunette!  Jealous!) This is all well and good, but am I the only one who’s put two and two together?  Isn’t this costing Audi a lot more money than it’s making them?  Is all this online attention actually inspiring anyone to jump up and buy an Audi?

Doug Clark, Audi of America’s general manager for social media and customer engagement has the answer.  “The equation to measure that doesn’t exist.”

This is applicable to pretty much any ad we see in the social media scope.  Was it the ad you saw on the sidebar of Facebook a month ago that made you buy that pack of Excel?  Or maybe you just remembered that adorable doughnut on their TV spots.  Who knows?

According to Fast Company, funding for social media advertising is often pulled from the pile of cash labeled “experimental”.  But, when you think about it, pretty much all forms of advertising started out as a bit of an experiment.  Who knew telling people why products were “so great” on television would actually lead to sales?  In this crazy world we call the Ad-Game, social media advertising has clearly become the next big step forward, but it could just be a layover on the way to something bigger and better.  As of right now, nobody knows.  That’s what makes the future so exciting!