McLaren Life banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Just received this via email from Ferrari North America. Their Ferrari News email newsletter.

Amazing. They are actually allowing themselves to be fully baited, hook, line and sinker by McLaren and the 12C. I've never seen anything even remotely close to this kind of communication from Ferrari regarding any competitor. Somebody in Maranello is very agitated.

What is particularly lame about this communication, however, is that they based the whole thing off of Fifth Gear's program. The last time Fifth Gear stopped airing, it was cancelled because it had less than 1 million viewers, total. Meanwhile, Top Gear has close to 400 million viewers world wide.

That's two bonehead PR moves in a row by Ferrari.

-----

“Surprise in Surrey” – The Ferrari 458 Italia
Knocks Out A New Challenger
It was the sports car world’s equivalent to the “Thrilla in Manila,” the 1975 heavyweight bout between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier. It was a duel anticipated for many months by car enthusiasts the world over, the first televised comparison test between the heretofore-unchallenged Ferrari 458 Italia and the newcomer from England, the McLaren MP4-12C produced by Ferrari’s F1 archrival.
At the end of the engine-screaming, corner-carving grudge match staged by England’s “Fifth Gear” TV show, driver-hosts Tiff Needel and Jason Plato emphatically declared the Ferrari the “clear winner.” (“Fifth Gear” ran its comparison test on the track that “Top Gear” also uses, the Dunsfold Aerodrome in Surrey, England.)
“Fifth Gear’s” conclusion on the McLaren, also reached by three other British auto outlets, “Top Gear,” Autocar and AutoExpress, had come as a bit of a surprise to the British auto journalists who, perhaps not surprisingly, seemed to have been rooting for the home team going in. Needel and Pluto admitted as much in their segment, in which they expressed disappointment in the McLaren while unequivocally choosing the 458 Italia for both its tested performance and its “fun factor.” The latter, they conceded, was Maranello’s unequalled forte.
A clear win, however, was not the end of the story. Unexpected on-track drama added a second unexpected – and unwelcome – twist. Here’s how the duel played out:

Round 1: Testing the Benchmark
“Fifth Gear’s” Needel and Plato divvied up driving duties, Needel testing the 458 Italia for “fun” and Plato going for the fastest lap. (See sidebar below for drivers’ backgrounds.) In his first-ever drive in the 458 Italia, Needel found himself instantly comfortable and confident behind the wheel – and instantly smitten. Watch closely the portion of the video (embedded below) running from 2:16 to 3:38 and you’ll see Needel capture the essence of Ferrari perfectly. “I’ve just lit up 570 horsepower, and I’ve lit up the grin on my face!” Needel shouts. “I’ve only driven this car around two corners and already the confidence is unbelievable.” Trackside, and still grinning, he conveys his impression to Plato with two words: “I’m breathless!”
Needel takes the Ferrari out for another drive and clearly enjoys the car even more. He no doubt appreciated using the manettino to adjust the car’s dynamic handling controls to his own expert driving skills. He concludes his run by putting the 458 Italia into one of his signature moves, a tire-smoking “Tiff drift.”
Next, Plato reveals how much he, too, enjoys the Ferrari. “It’s just an electric experience,” he says from inside the car. “This is a flat-out 140 mile an hour corner and we’re sideways, and it’s no effort.” Trackside, he tells Needel, “I love this car. It’s my favorite-ever car.”

Round 2: Scrutinizing the Challenger
Next comes the McLaren. Even with the sound turned off, facial expressions on both drivers tell a markedly different story. Needel, looking for the car’s “fun factor,” feels no enjoyment at all. Instead, he finds the MP4-12C unpredictable through the corners, and he appears visibly shaken at the wheel. Trackside, he gestures a shaky hand to Plato. “I've got to learn to drive this more than I did the Ferrari that was instantly putty in my hands,” the experienced racer says.
Needel then nervously agrees to try for a “Tiff drift” but his decision leads to an off-track excursion that turns the McLaren into a “high speed lawn mower.” He explains, “The trouble was, I was trying to make the McLaren do exactly what it’s programmed not to do.”
Plato, in his lap that was a half-second behind the Ferrari’s, reveals his disdain for the McLaren’s dynamic handling systems. “I don't like it,” he says, citing a “disconnect” between the driver and the car. “To get the best out of it, you’ve probably got to drive it the way McLaren wants you to, and the way it’s been programmed to, and I’m not programmed that way.” (Autocar reached a similar conclusion in its McLaren test: “You have to do things its way, not yours. And that’s not always the most satisfying way.”)
Plato elaborates: “It’s very, very nervous on the brakes. It squirms around, and it won’t downshift when I want it to. But the big thing is, it’s nowhere near as fun, as engaging to drive, as exciting as the Ferrari. I’m genuinely, genuinely disappointed.”

The Decision: The “Fifth Gear” team’s conclusion on the McLaren MP4-12C
Needel: “The engine isn’t as good.”
Plato: “Agreed.”
Needel: “The gearbox isn’t as good.”
Plato: “Agreed.”
Needel: “The handling isn’t as good.”
Plato: “Very much agreed.”
Needel: “There can be only one winner.”
Plato: “And it’s a clear winner.”
Together: “The Ferrari!”

The Final Word
Although the McLaren MP4-12C may incorporate F1 technology transfer, impressive specifications alone cannot match the 60 years of racing experience and passion that underpins Ferrari’s road cars. As the “Fifth Gear” segment below makes that clear, that passion comes through not only in the way Ferraris perform, but also how they make the driver feel.

“Fifth Gear”
“Fifth Gear” debuted in 2001 as essentially a continuation of the original “Top Gear” TV series, which ran on the BBC, 1977-2001 and featured racer Tiff Needel as one of its presenters. He continued on the new show. His varied racing career included stints in F1 and Le Mans (where he finished third in 1990), as well as GT1, the British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) and rallycross. Also a highly accomplished racer, Jason Plato holds the record for the most overall wins in the BTCC.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,955 Posts
I guess in business you can fall into the trap of believing what you want to believe. Additionally you can become contemptuous of your customers believing that they cannot see through the PR smoke screen.

Ultimately Ferrari will be seen for what they are, you can't fool all the people all the time.

Objectivity and emotional blindness will have equal sway depending on if you have a deposit on a MP12 or 458!!!!

I have a trip to the MPC and MTC shortly and it will be informative I'm sure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
I guess in business you can fall into the trap of believing what you want to believe. Additionally you can become contemptuous of your customers believing that they cannot see through the PR smoke screen.

Ultimately Ferrari will be seen for what they are, you can't fool all the people all the time.

Objectivity and emotional blindness will have equal sway depending on if you have a deposit on a MP12 or 458!!!!

I have a trip to the MPC and MTC shortly and it will be informative I'm sure.
Well, the whole email just seems so desperate. I guess enough customers asked why the 12C is 3 seconds faster or something - what else could provoke them? What really had me laughing is how they tried to write with their own editorial flair (Thrilla in Manilla, etc.) and then "massaged" some of the details to make Fifth Gear seem like a relevant show and the definitive voice in motoring shows. Talk about backing the wrong horse (pun intended). I guarantee you there are thousands of Ferrari customers opening that email today and saying "who the f--- is Jason Plato?" and wondering why then did the McLaren trounce the 458 and the Enzo in the Top Gear video link their buddies emailed them.

Ferrari's PR dept is making the same mistakes that Porsche PR made when the GT-R was launched. The deceit and contempt I expect from Ferrari. The lack of PR acumen is definitely new. The more they get dragged into this battle, the more they have to lose as new information comes out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
I got this email and was surprised as well. I also received my issue of Forza in the mail yesterday and was shocked they mentioned the 12C on the cover and published a reasonably large pic and article in the magazine.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
199 Posts
The opening paragraph in that email was very cheesy. The Ali/Frazier analogy was just... bad.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
I guess you're right 6th element, a combination of the Top Gear 3 seconds and maybe protecting the overs pricing with recent issues with the credit rating etc.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I guess you're right 6th element, a combination of the Top Gear 3 seconds and maybe protecting the overs pricing with recent issues with the credit rating etc.
Honestly, I don't know. They certainly have nothing to gain. Maybe with the Ferrari Formula One team doing so poorly, the PR guys have too much time on their hands. What's next - are they going to release a statement (like Porsche did about the GT-R at the Ring) saying they drove a 12C at Fiorano and couldn't beat the Mondial's lap time? :p
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,955 Posts
Another take on Ferrari is that they are simply telling themselves and their customers that they have the best car.

No problem in that. As long as the customer cars are the same as the PR cars.

Simples!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Another take on Ferrari is that they are simply telling themselves and their customers that they have the best car.

No problem in that. As long as the customer cars are the same as the PR cars.

Simples!
LOL, exactly.

Either way, this is not an intelligent way to market an established brand in a mature market. Especially if you are already considered the incumbent leader.

If you are a new market entrant, maybe you can get away with such communication, to antagonize the more established brand into responding (thereby earning more awareness for your PR buck). But, it is a lose-lose situation for Ferrari. Customers that are in the know will see through the BS, while those that never cared about McLaren will only wonder why the departure from Ferrari's traditional marketing approach? Why now the direct addressing of a competitor, when they never have before? Is there something to worry about?

Really clumsy PR. If they continue in this vein, they will play right into McLaren's hands, just as Porsche did with the GT-R.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,177 Posts
LOL, exactly.

Either way, this is not an intelligent way to market an established brand in a mature market. Especially if you are already considered the incumbent leader.

If you are a new market entrant, maybe you can get away with such communication, to antagonize the more established brand into responding (thereby earning more awareness for your PR buck). But, it is a lose-lose situation for Ferrari. Customers that are in the know will see through the BS, while those that never cared about McLaren will only wonder why the departure from Ferrari's traditional marketing approach? Why now the direct addressing of a competitor, when they never have before? Is there something to worry about?

Really clumsy PR. If they continue in this vein, they will play right into McLaren's hands, just as Porsche did with the GT-R.
interesting that it has been posted by someone on ferrarichat yesterday,and it has not had one single reply,seems the true ferrari fans also think its in bad taste and not the traditional ferrari way
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
interesting that it has been posted by someone on ferrarichat yesterday,and it has not had one single reply,seems the true ferrari fans also think its in bad taste and not the traditional ferrari way
It's ironic that you should mention that - when I first read the email, with all of its amateur rah-rah, it struck me as something that a forum user would write, not a professional PR employee!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
It's ironic that you should mention that - when I first read the email, with all of its amateur rah-rah, it struck me as something that a forum user would write, not a professional PR employee!
As they say then, a picture is worth a thousand words a? This is certainly a first to eat a piece of cake with the lap time on it. Good PR for sure. Never fail to surprise and amuse... talk about another PR shock.

http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3525#post3525

Certainly the cheesiest cheese cake one could have. It takes one to know one.

And this picture is professionally taken. The angle and all and posting on twitter, definitely shows Macca's professionalism more so than some other agencies posting the Muhammed Ali paragraph.

However as they say, the cleanest of the dirtiest shirt, is still America. And America will always be triple A no matter what some rating agency says right, right? Heck, Buffett says quadruple As, and in the motoring world, I agree.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
As they say then, a picture is worth a thousand words a? This is certainly a first to eat a piece of cake with the lap time on it. Good PR for sure. Never fail to surprise and amuse... talk about another PR shock.

http://www.mclarenlife.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3525#post3525

Certainly the cheesiest cheese cake one could have. It takes one to know one.

And this picture is professionally taken. The angle and all and posting on twitter, definitely shows Macca's professionalism more so than some other agencies posting the Muhammed Ali paragraph.

However as they say, the cleanest of the dirtiest shirt, is still America. And America will always be triple A no matter what some rating agency says right, right? Heck, Buffett says quadruple As, and in the motoring world, I agree.
And yet, I do not see any addressing of Ferrari whatsoever in that image, but would not be surprised if you and other Ferrari customers would take it personally. ;) As should Bugatti, Koenigsegg, Noble, I suppose... :rolleyes:

Nice try. What else have you got?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
691 Posts
Someone needs to call Ferrari's PR department and suggest they remember the first rule when you're digging a hole: "Quit Digging."

So far - everything they're doing suggests they're terrified of McLaren, and if I owned a Ferrari I'd be seriously concerned that my marque was in the middle fo such a freakout.

But then, if McLaren ever builds a crossover SUV (the FF) and plants a McLaren badge on it, I'd be freaking out too...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,955 Posts
Hey, come on guys, Ferrari is a car company.They can say what they want at this stage.

McL is a virtual car company until they start shipping.But glad they resist shipping until things are perfect.

OK the waiting is getting on my nerves. A test drive would suffice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
Fifth Gear part II when F1/Enzo replacement comes out.........in one corner a NA V12 sure to HOWL like no other and stunning looks to match.........in the other corner a twin turbo V8 (for efficiency) with a muffled growl and looks penned by supercomputers sitting on the SAME mono cell (cut cost).........FERRARI sure to win on emotion and FUN factor again.......Needel and Plato sure to come to the same conclusions again........with McLaren sure to give customers instructions AGAIN on how to DRIVE their new supercar WTF!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,886 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Fifth Gear part II when F1/Enzo replacement comes out.........in one corner a NA V12 sure to HOWL like no other and stunning looks to match.........in the other corner a twin turbo V8 (for efficiency) with a muffled growl and looks penned by supercomputers sitting on the SAME mono cell (cut cost).........FERRARI sure to win on emotion and FUN factor again.......Needel and Plato sure to come to the same conclusions again........with McLaren sure to give customers instructions AGAIN on how to DRIVE their new supercar WTF!
LOL, could be. And then CAR editor and Car & Driver mag will say McLaren has "elevated the Hyper-Car", Clarkson will say it is a pair of tights and the Stig will put it past all the Ferraris (and Lambos, and Koenigseggs, and Bugattis, and, and, and....) straight to the top of the Power Board, AGAIN. Sounds perfect to me.

Only thing I wouldn't bet on is Sniff and Potato still being on air, by then. Their track record is less than stellar in that regard. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,459 Posts
LOL, could be. And then CAR editor and Car & Driver mag will say McLaren has "elevated the Hyper-Car", Clarkson will say it is a pair of tights and the Stig will put it past all the Ferraris (and Lambos, and Koenigseggs, and Bugattis, and, and, and....) straight to the top of the Power Board, AGAIN. Sounds perfect to me.

Only thing I wouldn't bet on is Sniff and Potato still being on air, by then. Their track record is less than stellar in that regard. :D
you are a CAR GUY.........don't you just wish McLaren can put out a NA V10/V12 engine with the SOUL and PASSION (along with the weight) of the F1 (still looks STUNNING even by todays stds)......Lambo and Ferrari seems to do it with some regards to efficiency:rolleyes:......i want to see a proper HYPERCAR from them just like the one made over 25yrs ago:eek: i know they have the technology.....christ i'll settle for a HOWLING NA V8;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
192 Posts
you are a CAR GUY.........don't you just wish McLaren can put out a NA V10/V12 engine with the SOUL and PASSION (along with the weight) of the F1 (still looks STUNNING even by todays stds)......Lambo and Ferrari seems to do it with some regards to efficiency:rolleyes:......i want to see a proper HYPERCAR from them just like the one made over 25yrs ago:eek: i know they have the technology.....christ i'll settle for a HOWLING NA V8;)
It also has a letter and 2 numbers, maybe F 40? That's pretty emotional being a turbo. That's Ferrari's version of the MP4-12C... only it was an emotional version of the MP4-12C envisioned by Ferrari and it was made up long long time ago almost 25 years ago with an even more efficient engine! 2.9L twin turbo and MP4-12c is reincarnation. Hopefully it will be another collectible.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top