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Old 28th November 2017, 23:48   #241
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

Auto Portal announced their car of the year awards.

Car of the year - Hyundai Verna.

Best Compact Sedan - Maruti Suzuki DZire.
Best Upgrade Award - Honda City.

Best Compact Sedan - Maruti Suzuki DZire.
Best hatchback - Maruti Suzuki Ignis.
Best variant award - Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS

Best Crossover - Honda WRV
Best SUV - Ford Ecosport.
Best Design award - TATA Nexon.

Best premium SUV - Jeep Compass.
Best Luxury SUV - Volkswagen Tiguan.
Best 4*4 - TATA Hexa.

Best luxury car - BMW 5 series.
Best Performance Award - Audi S5.
Best Supercar - Nissan GTR.

Dear AutoPortal,

Please do not treat Mahindra and Toyota this way. You have all other camps covered (some companies covered under a brand umbrella anyways), except for these two. Surely they could accomodate a "Best MUV Award" or something. Atleast if you cover these two as well - it might come across as an unbiased approach.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 29th November 2017 at 00:16.
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Old 29th November 2017, 07:17   #242
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Best Crossover - Honda WRV
Best SUV - Ford Ecosport.
Best Design award - TATA Nexon.

Best premium SUV - Jeep Compass.
Best Luxury SUV - Volkswagen Tiguan.
Best 4*4 - TATA Hexa.
Pretty much like their reviews all good with all cars
And the "please all" effort is brilliantly done in the above two sets; should have included Kodiaq also (as the best 7-seater SUV or something)
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Old 29th November 2017, 12:52   #243
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Best Luxury SUV - Volkswagen Tiguan.
Kodiaq blows away the Tiguan, in every aspect. No sure how they picked Tiguan over Kodiaq.
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Old 29th March 2018, 09:36   #244
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Just came across this excellent opinion piece by Rohin (he's now heading Jaguar-Land Rover's communications in India).

Quote:
it’s more about who is out with the story first, substance and knowledge sharing comes later.

....get said car or motorcycle for a test drive/ride and avoid controversial questions during the Q&A session, if any.

...Commentary, if any, generally follows a rather similar line – unless many crib about a certain facet or trait, the cars either end up being good or very good. The wide envelope applied to tests has been replaced by harping on some similar points, with standard formats applied for all cars. Then you apply some typical comments just to look intelligent. Body roll is one of them. Crashy ride is another. Good bottom-end is a third. No one these days is quite sure whether they should mention turbo lag or not, so it’s conveniently omitted. Reviews read like ‘fill in the blanks with suitable words from the options below’.

So where is motoring journalism? Albeit hidden somewhere between licking an executive’s you know what and making sure you are part of a junket. Pray if you aren’t, then the manufacturer will face ‘motoring journalism’ from said journo, until the situation is remedied and said long-termer has reached his or her gates/called for the next junket way in advance. Long-term updates also read like they were written with the specific objective of being upgraded to the next higher model from that manufacturer’s lineup.

.......Remember, smoking guns like the Volkswagen emissions mess are mostly detected by journalists, not information providers. It’s time we all grew a spine.
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Old 29th March 2018, 09:59   #245
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Awesome. I have given some nasty comments on many YouTube reviews which even a 5 yr old will say is paid or insanely biased. I also see many YouTube reviews from the UK or the US and they're always to the point and objective. Boot space is shown by putting in luggage, a common man doesn't understand how much is 458 ltrs of space. It's stupid if one cannot show functionality in simple terms.

Also in India reviewers I feel are more interested in echoing each other's opinion, else having a unique opinion (which might be true) makes them standout and with a herd mentality culture of ours, it's a bad thing to stand out.

I feel the problem is, folks who want to be on TV or just want to be known are becoming Auto journalists, irrespective of whether they have the capability or not.

Somewhere in this chaos, our forum and it's content stands out for being blunt, to present facts as they are, and to have a strong spine indeed.
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Old 29th March 2018, 15:14   #246
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Auto Portal announced their car of the year awards.
They missed out on the Best Gear Knob award! How unfortunate!!
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Old 13th March 2019, 13:54   #247
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Nice one by James May at this link.

Reminds me of the time we were testing a VW (some variant of the Polo or Vento IIRC). After the team is done, I usually drive the car on Saturday & Sunday and had hence told VW to pick the car up on Monday. It was parked on the backside of the building which I might visit just once a week (or less).

Some days later, I spotted the car still there . Called VW and they sheepishly said "we forgot to pick up the car" .

Another time, it was a Maruti or a Tata (don't remember, but for sure a hatchback). 1 month after we had test-driven the car and returned it, I got a call from a very anxious PR fellow. Question "do you know where that car is?". They apparently had lost the media car (or forgotten who had last borrowed it)!!!
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Old 13th March 2019, 15:52   #248
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Default Re: Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
These are typically large-scale test drives where ~100 journalists are hosted by the car manufacturer
Discovered this awesome thread today, almost 4+ years after you published it. I am sure a lot must have changed (not all good) in the way these events are organised now. The number of "journalists" invited nowadays must be much much more than 100, with so many YouTube channels opening up. I am sure you'd be busy with other commitments, but would be nice if you could post a follow up to this thread about how things have changed now? Or are they more or less still the same?
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Old 14th March 2019, 07:20   #249
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I am sure a lot must have changed (not all good) in the way these events are organised now. Or are they more or less still the same?
Nope, not much has changed. Press drive events are conducted in pretty much the same way as listed on page 1 of this thread.
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Old 2nd April 2019, 07:42   #250
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The Team-BHP Life = One day you are driving a 600 BHP monster (link), the next day a WagonR AMT. If you are an Official Reviewer, you have to be versatile & flexible enough. When I'm driving the M5, I'm thinking from the POV of a 2-crore customer. But when I jump into the WagonR, I have to approach it from the mindset of a middle-class buyer, for many of whom it might be their first car or their first automatic. The M5 must be compared to the AMGs, but the WagonR has to be compared to the Santro (I'd also taken the Hyundai on the same road as the M5).

Life's good .

Behind the Scenes: How Press & Media Drives Work-20190401-18.22.04.jpg
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Old 12th August 2019, 17:29   #251
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Indeed a nice article guys, learnt a lot. Still I need to have an answer for a simple question. As you have told that there are basically a number of yet to be launched cars for the media event, what exactly happens to these car variants as literally a lot of reviewers drive them and ODO clocks a lot??

I mean what happens to these vehicles after the media drive is over??

Thanks

Mayank
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Old 12th August 2019, 19:46   #252
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Originally Posted by coolkurt View Post

Just came across this :

Quote:
During the unveiling event of the Kia Seltos in India, a small group of ‘select media’ members were allowed to shoot the car separately – a day in advance. This handed them an unfair advantage, as their first impressions, write-ups and videos were out while we were still attending the unveiling ceremony held on June 20th 2019.

A small ‘select media’ group was taken to the brand’s production facility at Ananthapur and was given a purported ‘sneak peak’ of the product. When the concerned officials were inquired by this group about the activity, they commented that it was just a feedback session, and no reviews or opinions were meant to come out of it. Contrary to what we were told, full blown text reviews of the car having being driven at the company’s production facility were published on the respective platforms of these media outlets. Not just was an unfair advantage handed to a select group of media, the rest of the media was blatantly misinformed about the event.
Link to Article
.
Whether, family, siblings, customer, suppliers, office, management etc. Some are more equal than others.

Believe me, there are many portals, not so many print magazines, many TV folks, infinite number of influencers. Now put yourself in the manufacturers shoes? Who on earth will I call and when? This is like planning your daughters wedding ( that day will come for me!)

Here's how it goes when planning the event

Hmm,

Let me first call the credible TV/Print media folks who provide "incredible" support in launching the brand and awareness. They have worked hard in turning our leaks into tactical squirts of information at the right time!

Let me then also call, the forums who command a credible viewership, whose readership have been validated over a period of time. They are fair but any weak spots might be exposed but we can dumb that down by first calling the print group and creating a positive blitz.

Done!

Whoops, the budget is rather tight and the cash is locked in 5000 cars unsold all over the country. Who else to invite?


Oh!

The youtubers, fan clubs, portals - They survive by viewership numbers or clickbait opportunities. How on earth do I figure which one is which? Each are a different kettle of fish!

Some of these folks are gracious and will reciprocate positively when we invite them. Others feel entitled and expect us to cater to their whims and fancies and blackmail us with threats of bad reviews if not invited. (I have actually heard PR staff of car companies tell me this!). In fact they demand more attention than the media houses/ portals who account for 80% of the target viewership.

As a manufacturer, we would prioritise in no particular order
  • The highest potential validated viewership (many bits and bots around!)
  • Those who have given us a great mutual rate of return
  • Quality and timeliness as opposed to "Out first even its the worst"
  • Those who will report fairly
  • Those who do not tax our bandwidth with trivial issues and demands

My personal perspective is that there have been times, we have been invited to some pretty exclusive events and times when we have not but we really don't care, we merely want the car to report as opposed to attending the event. Sometimes, we are in the first tier of invitees, at times, we are in the later tier. It really does not matter. (rumour has it, that sometimes we get pushed into a later tier, since we corner the top management with tough questions !).

In short, "Life sucks, deal with it!".

I personally think that this "boycott" move will hurt these folks more than the manufacturer.

Last edited by ajmat : 12th August 2019 at 21:20.
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Old 12th August 2019, 19:59   #253
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Originally Posted by mayank_ferrari View Post

I mean what happens to these vehicles after the media drive is over??

Thanks

Mayank
Keeping this a separate post
  • Some of them do not escape gods intervention and get totalled
  • Some of them are given to journalists for long term tests (call it a tax free obligatory perk!)
  • High end cars are used for high end events to ferry tennis players etc. A Mercedes GLS that I used in Ladakh had been blessed by Paris Hiltons bum and then used for the inaugural Delhi F1
  • Some are given/lent to dealers as demo cars (heaven help if you are a dealer in the region for the event! The company will swipe your cars)
  • Some of them are used for "Experience" shows - some tired Merc, BMW, Jags out there
  • Some are used as for media run paid junkets into Ladakh etc. (Overdrive)
  • Some are kept in the factory to test components or used a validaition vehicle.
  • Some are sold after a while to dealers on a tender. (I was advised by a manufacturer to avoid these cars as the prices were already heavily marked up)
  • Some end up in the Marques exclusive secondhand pre-loved
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Old 13th August 2019, 10:54   #254
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
Keeping this a separate post
  • Some of them do not escape gods intervention and get totalled
  • Some of them are given to journalists for long term tests (call it a tax free obligatory perk!)
  • High end cars are used for high end events to ferry tennis players etc. A Mercedes GLS that I used in Ladakh had been blessed by Paris Hiltons bum and then used for the inaugural Delhi F1
  • Some are given/lent to dealers as demo cars (heaven help if you are a dealer in the region for the event! The company will swipe your cars)
  • Some of them are used for "Experience" shows - some tired Merc, BMW, Jags out there
  • Some are used as for media run paid junkets into Ladakh etc. (Overdrive)
  • Some are kept in the factory to test components or used a validaition vehicle.
  • Some are sold after a while to dealers on a tender. (I was advised by a manufacturer to avoid these cars as the prices were already heavily marked up)
  • Some end up in the Marques exclusive secondhand pre-loved
Thanks for the info Ajmat. As told by you that a Manufacturer sells these on a tender basis, meaning the dealer can further sell it to the customer or in short can these media vehicles end up with the final customer??
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Old 13th August 2019, 12:20   #255
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Originally Posted by mayank_ferrari View Post
Thanks for the info Ajmat. As told by you that a Manufacturer sells these on a tender basis, meaning the dealer can further sell it to the customer or in short can these media vehicles end up with the final customer??
Yes, the humble punter will be told "factory car" , driven by management. Look what happened to the Volvo V90 Cross Country that I drove (Driven: Volvo V90 Cross Country)
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