Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Blog Primer & Recap for First Timers

In case folks are new visitors to this blog, triggered perhaps by a recent blurb about my situation in Newsweek magazine, a quick refresher. I drive a 2004 Honda Civic Hybrid. I passionately believe in the power of hybrid-technology. I was so excited about buying a hybrid I started this blog, bought a license plate that read "Mo Miles," and had my wife videotape my entire purchase experience (which the dealers loved, I might add). The problem, now reflected in this "focus group" of a blog, is that my hybrid only gets 33 of the "advertised" 48-49 MPG, and I'm feeling a tad burned. But the issue is far bigger than Pete Blackshaw. This is all about how advertisers set expectations with consumers. To this day, Honda still sets unrealistic expectations with consumers about the potential mileage, still dedicating messaging -- even a brand new TV advertising campaign -- to the very faulty EPA estimates that everyone in the industry (but not regular consumers) knows to off the market. Why do this? Consumers like Pete Blackshaw will STILL buy and drive hybrid cars because of the emissions-improvement, golf-cart "silence effect" (which makes the stereo rock, by the way), and more -- as long as they are not oversold or misled on the mileage benefit. There are more folks than I can count who feel the same way, and many of their experiences are captured here and beyond.