Ever wonder why just about every news story about scooters follows the same formula and focuses on the Vespa rather than other scooters? CooperKatz is doing their job well. (Is that the Adobe Acrobat guy moonlighting in the background of that page?) They’re the people that coordinate Vespa’s events, shop openings, and media relations, including the official blog.
8 thoughts on “Vespa PR”
To each, their own. But propaganda in any form is just lame. Poor form. I’m secondarily disappointed in the mags and newspapers that run the provided filler and don’t put *advertisement* on it. Just because they didn’t get a direct payment (or at least not one the IRS can prove).
I’m primarily dissapointed in the media, Piaggio and CooperKatz are trying to sell thier product, it’s up to the media to make a distinction between cutting and pasting a press release and journalism (“PR” and “News”). Since they generally don’t bother, it’s up to consumers these days.
True. They should be the gatekeepers. But like drugs, I’m not a fan of dealers or shooters. They both get off but it’s most unfair to those downstream of the exchange.
I’m gonna strike out in a different direction on this and state, as someone who does PR and marketing for a living, that Piaggio/CooperKatz is doing a great job. Keeping a brand fresh and hip for sixty years (especially one whose product offerings has changed far less dramatically then say, Ford’s) is a serious coup. While I may personally give top style-point billings to Lammy owners, to the general public, Vespa is the scooter prestige brand. It is the Harley. This isn’t something that just happens – this is something that has to be worked at.
Vespa isn’t the prestige brand because they have the most reliable or most cutting edge or even the rarest scoots. Vespas have that je ne sais quois that comes, in part, from effective branding and marketing. Put another way – is there any hard reason that a single new P-Series should have been sold in this country once the Stella became available?* No – all of the reasons are soft – nostalgia, status etc – all things that tie back to the brand, marketing and PR.
Good marketing is good. It is our friend. It makes our vehicles worth more than they otherwise would be. Bad Marketing? Well, anyone wanna buy a Schwinn Scooter?
I agree, that’s exactly what I said, they’re doing their job well. I work in advertising, too.
I just think few consumers can tell the difference between PR and news.
I’d also argue that while Vespa’s reputation is partially based on their advertising and marketing, which has been well-executed in the past and present, it still comes down to the product, which has always had extra care in design and engineering. You can market the hell out of a crap product and maybe it will sell well, but it’s a whole lot easier to sell a product that sells itself. Vespa’s marketing just adds that extra $1000 onto the price, ha.
Now that we’ve heard the official response from CooperKatz…
To further debate, in the name of wasting time at work, “This isnâ€™t something that just happens” isn’t really true, it IS something that just happens. There were a lot of scooters out in the 40s/50s/60s and while the magificence of the Vespa, and their advertising and their marketing, certainly helped, a lot of it was just being in the right place at the right time with the right product, and getting lucky that it just happened to catch people’s imagination. The Vespa was popular and well-loved in the US even when Vespa abandoned us. I remember falling in love with the Vespa the first time I saw one, without ever having seen an advertisement or knowing a thing about them. They just inspire a feeling that can’t be bought or sold, no matter how hard Piaggio tries, they don’t own that feeling, they’re just the people that make it possible.
If it was just good advertising and good products that made a legend, Harley would be screwed, they have neither. Who knows what keeps them going?
And by many accounts, Vespa isn’t doing as well as they could be, while they dominate the media and the public consciousness, they’re selling (from what we can tell) about 10% of the (relatively few, even in the midst of this “boom”) scooters sold in the US. Good PR and advertising aren’t worth a bit if they don’t translate into sales.
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