Typically, for specific new-product media events, car companies will pay the expenses, including air travel and hotel, of selected auto and lifestyle writers, bloggers and social-media influencers. Such driving events can take place in nearly any locale and, factoring in logistics — such as booking senior executives — can be costly. Select media are also invited to major auto shows with the automakers usually picking up the tab.
Online might not be personal, but it has proved to save time.
“I can block [Nissan Canada CEO] Steve [Milette] for an hour [for an online reveal],” Marsaud said. “I don’t have to block him for three days.”
But with facility rentals, online infrastructure, staffing, staging and videography and editing, the price tag of an online reveal can approach that of a press conference at a major international auto show.
“The costs are very comparable, and there’s not a lot of saving there,” Marsaud said. “The main saving is the travel and lodging for the media, but it is just a small part of the cost.”
Christine Hollander, a spokeswoman for Ford Canada, said she’s satisfied with the amount of media coverage generated by online reveals.
“After a reveal, such as Bronco, I get so many emails [from media] saying it was a great presentation and asking all sorts of questions.”
On Feb. 3, Ford launched the F-150 Raptor, also online.
Hollander, based in Montreal, and her colleagues in Oakville, Ont., and Dearborn, Mich., “had to get very creative” in response to government-imposed restrictions brought on by COVID-19, she said.
The online launches have been as carefully choreographed as press conferences at auto shows, with elaborate staging, lighting, fog machines, lasers, pounding music and turntables to rotate the subject vehicles, she said.
Presentations will cut to videos showcasing details or offering testimonials from customers given early access to vehicles.
Ford’s online reveals typically have two components: one for media to allow reporters to ask detailed questions of engineers, designers and marketing executives, while a separate public reveal allows the company to broadcast its message directly to consumers.
‘NO BETTER WAY’ THAN LIVE