Oldsmobile's Three Hundred Million Dollar Flop.
"This is not your father's Oldsmobile".
In 1988, Oldsmobile launched a massive advertising campaign to attract a younger generation of buyers. "This is not your father's Oldsmobile" was going to bring the Oldsmobile name into the mainstream of pop-culture. Every cool hipster from southern California to upstate Maine would be driving a new Oldsmobile. Unfortunately for Oldsmobile, their campaign hit a major fork in the road. The campaign "This is not your father's Oldsmobile" was a complete failure, for it did not attract a younger customer base, and it failed to retain the customers it already had. As it turns out it is your father's Oldsmobile after all. .
The first reason Oldsmobile's ad campaign failed was because it alienated half of its customer base, fathers. Oldsmobile's sales report from 1985 states that the median age for its buyers was sixty-two. The large majority of men over the age of sixty-two are fathers. In fact, being a father had a big part in men purchasing an Oldsmobile. Oldsmobile's traditionally are big cars, with large bench seats that can hold up to seven passengers. They have a smooth ride that will cruise over the deepest of potholes without even a shimmer. Imagine one-day dad is driving along interstate five listening to the radio, and he hears the jingle "This is not your father's Oldsmobile". What message are they trying to send to dad? That Oldsmobile's are too cool for dad and he needs to trade his in and buy a Buick. Well, that's precisely what fathers did. In 1985, Oldsmobile sold more than a million cars, by 1990; their sales were under half a million. In 2000, Oldsmobile sold fewer than 300,000 vehicles, and the large majority of the cars bought were company fleet vehicles (O"Connell). The sales report is proof positive that "This is not your father's Oldsmobile" failed to retain the majority of its market base, fathers.