Motoring journalists love free stuff.
Not revolutionary I know, everybody loves free stuff.
But let me ask you this – how many people do you know who would carry a suitcase around to make sure they have enough room for their free stuff?
I saw more than one motoring journalist do this during a recent motor show media day and it made me think – do the public really know what goes on at these events?
So here are 5 of the crazy things that happen at motor shows you might not be aware of.
Do you come here often?
Motorshow’s are famous for their showgirls. Residing on nearly every stand, they delightfully smile and entertain the largely male middle age journalistic crowd who all seem to forget for a moment that nobody really knows their name.
The girls themselves are lovely. Well informed, surprisingly intelligent (sometimes…) and always polite. Generally, they are dressed respectably and are really just taking the opportunity to earn some good money for ten days work.
Benz class it up
What amazes me is the sheer scale of the operation. There are not many places on earth left that involve such a cohort of gagging men observing a few ladies on stage. I am informed that the ladies enjoy the attention. Perhaps this is true, but there is one question that does strike me, what would the journalists wives say?
2. Free stuff
Journalist raid the Up! looking for something free
Talk to any motoring journalist after an event and the most likely thing they will talk about is all the free stuff they scored
But the truth is that none of this free stuff is really that good. A few USB sticks, the odd biscuit, and at most an iPhone case.
Doesn’t sound like anything you should lose your shit over right?
Well somebody forgot to tell the journalists.
At any motor show the restlessness is almost palpable as the flock of motoring journalists begin to identify their target – the ubiquitous “information desks”. These desks represent the end of the rainbow, the reason all those journalists got up at 5am, as it is the place where the free stuff lives. Following the conclusion of any presentation the close observer will see the flock begin to swarm and all the individuals merge into one as they stealthily move past the cars on display towards this, the ultimate of USB feeding lots. Prey acquired, they move out as quickly as they arrived and all that remains from this most skilful of scavenges is a group of confused, empty handed showgirls.
3. Marketing gumf
My guess is Toyota are “jumping for joy…”
During the day as the journalists are all wheeled through the back to back brand presentations, you can’t help but smile at some of the almost ridiculous marketing statements that the brands have to make.
Some of my favourites have included a family car being described as having “lifestyle enhancements” and the fact that almost every car company insists it has “rewritten the rule book with forward thinking.”
Of course you cannot blame the car brands for doing this – but I do feel sorry for the bosses who need to say this stuff with a straight face.
4. The performances
Embarassed Infiniti employees argue over who’s fault it is that they wore the same outfit
Without doubt the most entertaining part of the media day is the performances. From flash mob’s to Cirque du Soleil – a significant amount of effort goes into wooing the media and distracting them from anything car related.
Perhaps one of the most amusing I have seen is Skoda, who decided that the best way to advertise their car with a lot of space was dancing spacemen – yes that’s right, dancing space men… Luckily, to help viewers fully appreciate the relationship, Skoda were kind enough to go around handing out “spacefood” (otherwise known as iceblocks).
Skoda proves you can have too much space…
5. C grade celebrities
Austrlian Olympians struggle to contain their excitement over the new Mirage
Nothing is more awkward than watching a c-grade celebrity try to look excited about a car that they have never seen before.
Nothing is more funny than asking them what they really love about this car and listening to them drone on about how the brand is just so “young and fun…”
Generally the celebrities are athletes, desperate to get their hands on free cars.
Occasionally though, the car companies get it right, and bring out the real celebrities. These are the offshore race cars, concept cars or big name car designers.
Unfortunatly Porsche had a very small budget this year for celebrities
I’m interested in any of your motor show experiences. Leave a comment below or contact me here.