There’s an ‘ad’ for Aston Martin cars doing the rounds on Facebook in Malaysia. A lot of men, and probably a few girls are salivating at the image of a scantily dressed, leggy woman leaning against a counter in a kitchen.
The caption with the ad says “Aston Martin’s newest advertisement for pre-owned cars” and the actual tagline is “You know your not the first but do you care?” Followed by the Aston Martin logo and name.
It’s a great looking ad and appears genuine. However, just after the Aston Martin name are the words ‘PRE OWED.” Now this could be an extension of the gimmick or it could be slack proof reading –but that’s not the case.
The truth is it’s a spoof. This image originally went viral back in early 2013 and was featured on an unofficial Aston Martin blog. What surprised me was the response of Aston Martin’s lawyers who wrote to the owner and asked him to take down the image.
In the social economy, this sort of earned media – word of mouth and viral mentions, shares, reposts and content created as a sort of homage to the brand is gold dust for savvy brands. These brands realise they can no longer control the message so encourage users to develop their own content and share it across the ecosystem. This is how a brand’s narrative develops. And to be honest, I think the discussion this ad created sits nicely with the Aston Martin Brand.
Predictably, the comments in response to the lawyer’s letter were not very complimentary and I’m happy to say that Aston Martin wrote to the blog owner apologizing for the snotty legal letter.
BMW ad from 2009 – The real thing
For the record, the same concept and tagline was used before, back in 2009 by BMW as a campaign to market their premium selection used cars in Greece and before that by a Belgium company called Nearly New Cars.
Marcus Osborne is founder and CEO of Kuala Lumpur-based Fusionbrand. You can read more from Marcus on his blog Brand Consultant Asia.