Magazine article Marketing

Research Is the Perfect Vehicle for My Opinions

Magazine article Marketing

Research Is the Perfect Vehicle for My Opinions

Article excerpt

I've never thought of myself as a car buff, but the past week has seen me giving more thought than usual to our four-wheeled friends. Conscientious readers may have noticed my Design Choice last week on the mailing for the new Volkswagen Passat.

Before that, the closest I ever got to motoring journalism was when What Car? magazine asked me to stand in for a member of the public who hadn't turned up, and I ended up as a teacher from Shepperton, beaming over the roof of something silver and Japanese. They reckoned I owed them a favour because they'd lent me a test car when my company car had yet to arrive. What did I get? A new Aston Martin? A racy BMW? Or a Yugo Sana? I'll leave you to guess - but production of the model I drove was interrupted by a war.

I digress. The day of the Passat piece, I had a call from Leo Campbell at Claydon Heeley. Ford, he said, were keen to get some word-of-mouth about their new car: the, er, Ka. They were offering them to 'opinion-formers' - would I like to drive one for a couple of weeks?

Let's put aside for a second the deeply disturbing idea that the nonsense I utter forms anyone's opinion, and concentrate on the nature of celebrity. To get down to unglamorous trade magazine editors, Ford must have trawled through the A-list, the B-list, through D, E and F, and decided there was nothing left to lose.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not complaining. But I have been giving some thought to who exactly today's opinion-formers are. …

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