Evil marketing

I’m all for clever marketing. You want me to watch your ad, open your letter, or click on your email: do something funny or unique.

But don’t lie. Don’t try to trick me. That just pisses me off even more. Especially when I get evil marketing from a company I love, like AAA.

AAA has one of the best services in the world. They are a company I deeply trust for roadside assistance and auto insurance.

AAA falls on my short list of awesome service companies alongside Apple, Amazon, and American Express (funny how they all start with “a”).

Their marketing department doesn’t have the same principals the rest of the company does. They are trying to boost their quarterly numbers without realizing they are hurting the company’s reputation.


This letter came to me in the mail. AAA made it look official and important on the outside. Inside was an application for life insurance. “Use this to hold your Certificate of Coverage“. Ummm, it’s a brown envelope.

BMW and Audi: you guys are going to fight for my money for years to come. Thanks to your great products and marketing

There have been some great commercials during the Olympics, particularly from car companies. The BMW and Audi ones especially struck me. First, BMW:

“What you make people feel is just as important as what you make. At BMW, we don’t just make cars, we make joy.”

This is so true. There is something about the joy of driving a BMW that is unmatched by any other car out there, except my Miata. Both are perfectly balanced, front engine, rear wheel drive beasts designed to bring a smile to your face.

But as much as I’m a BMW fanboy, I also love Audi and love rooting for the underdog.

I love how they directly attack the other car companies. Audi has done incredible things since the A4 came out in 1996 (I bought an A4 in 2000). Now they’re on the offensive, educating people that there are better options out there.

I’m cheering for Audi here, would love to see them pass BMW in a few years. They have much better product design, but not quite as good vehicle technology underneath. If they can add more powerful engines, reduce weight, improve balance, I’ll be an Audi owner for life.