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It Looks Like...

Failed Marketing Campaign
On August 20, 2006, hot rod forums were spammed with a promotion for a car giveaway at this year's SEMA Show, the large annual industry show put on by SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association.[1] The promotional material included a photograph of two men wearing women's thong underwear imprinted with the phrase "Spank My Monkey", and a video in which the owner of a famous hot rod shop declared that he was "The Anti-Christ of the Hot Rod World". (For more information, see: The Full Story.)

Among the spammed forums was the Hotrodders Bulletin Board, located on Hotrodders.com. On behalf of the Hotrodders Bulletin Board members, an appeal was made to SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, and to the companies involved in the promotion.

In response, Corky Coker, the outgoing SEMA Chairman of the Board, posted publicly on the forums of the Hotrodders Bulletin Board.[2] In addition to his SEMA leadership position, Coker is also the owner of Coker Tire, which was mentioned in the video, and the brother of David Coker, who appeared as a sponsor in the video.

When confronted about the video, Corky Coker refused to admit the obvious sponsorship, or the scripted promotional car build. Instead, he uttered a classic automotive marketing line: "It looks like my brother just had these guys build a car for him."[2]



It Looks Like...
Here's what it "looks like" to SpankMyMarketer.com:

(The screen captures below are from the original Gas Monkey Garage promotional video, viewable on: the video page. All dialogue in speech bubbles is reproduced verbatim from the original video.)

1. First, Richard Rawlings, the owner of Gas Monkey Garage, says that they've "just finished a car build" for David Coker, the owner of Newstalgia Wheel. The "Coker Family", and "Coker Tire" are also mentioned. The vehicle featured in the "car build" is suspiciously similar to two other Gas Monkey Garage promotional vehicles. (For more information, see: SEMA.)

We just finished a car build



2. In the next scene, Rawlings shows David Coker the car that was "built" for him. The lines "Awwww, man" and "There you go, check that out" are used to create the illusion that David Coker is actually being shown this car for the first time. After Coker speaks, Rawlings mentions the vehicle year and model, to associate Newstalgia Wheel with this particular type of hot rod.

There you go, check that out



3. In the next line, the name of David Coker's company: Newstalgia Wheel, is linguistically blended with the name of Richard Rawlings's shop: Gas Monkey Garage. As the vehicle is displayed at an angle that prominently features a Newstalgia Wheel, David Coker refers to the car as: "The Gas Monkey Newstalgia".

The Gas Monkey Newstalgia



Gas Monkey Newstalgia
Newstalgia Wheel is a newer company on the scene, looking for exposure. Gas Monkey Garage and Richard Rawlings are rising stars. Gas Monkey's reputation for "old school made new" aligns properly with the Newstalgia Wheel ("new" + "nostalgia") concept.

Also, SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association, has just identified "rat rods" as an "emerging youth culture trend", and automotive marketers were encouraged to attend the upcoming SEMA Show, where SEMA claimed they could "see up close and in depth what's next for this lucrative market, and get everything you need to take advantage of it".[3]

The "Gas Monkey Newstalgia" car matches SEMA's published definition of a "rat rod":


"Then there's the rat rod -- a veritable Franken-car, a junkyard medley of stripped-down power. The gloves are off with these anti-street rods, just like the bells and whistles. Every non-essential part is gone. The roofline and suspension are chopped. Upholstery is home-made, paint job, primer gray. Big money goes into these rides, but all of it's under the hood -- if there is a hood, that is."[3]


The Gas Monkey Garage "Rat Rod" previously used in the Bullrun Rally is most likely repurposed as a promotional "car build" for Corky Coker's brother's new company.

3 Promotions, 3 Ratrods



Related Information on SpankMyMarketer.com



References
  1. Andrews, Stephen (Aug. 20, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191.html#post679393.

  2. Coker, Corky (Aug. 26, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191-11.html#post682189.

  3. SEMA News Bureau (Sep. 19, 2006). Rebels with Causes. Press release. Retrieved Dec 17, 2006 from http://www.semashow.com/main/main.aspx?id=70173.





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