Blog: Dave LeggettCitroen C5 advertisment

Dave Leggett | 9 May 2008

Marketing and selling large premium cars isn't all that easy for the French outside of France. The German brands have something of a stranglehold - in Europe, especially. PSA is developing what it believes is a credible strategy - 'competitive premium' - essentially levering off the volume business on component sets to produce a low-cost premium offering in each segment and undercutting the established premium brands.

I think it will be an uphill struggle in an area of the market where brand equity counts for a lot. Citroen is most definitely a value-driven brand and I think that counts against it in premium segments. But it will be interesting to see how the strategy unfolds in the market. The right price point can count for a lot, too, so maybe with good product there's a chance to build a reputation (and people who consider a Citroen brand premium car may have low initial expectations). And first off, perhaps you'd want to mix it a bit on the old brand image front, try and dispel some ingrained perceptions and maybe even suggest that you are already right up there with the established players...

In the UK, Citroen is certainly having a go with the C5 and an advertising campaign on TV that has drawn some criticism for its 'Nazi imagery'. A group of MPs said this: 'This house notes with regret the stereotypes used by Citroen to market the new C5 as Unmistakably German, including imagery, symbolism and style reminiscent of the 1930s.

'[We believe] this is counterproductive to the reputation of Citroen and urge it to withdraw the advertisement.'

Personally, I think it is harmless and rather funny. Judge for yourself.


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