Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Smart car of the month...


It's been a while since I've shown a little Smart car on PDP. In Europe, a lot of them are used for advertising, like this one which is currently used to promote the release of the Jungle Book DVD. Why do people accept to have advertising on their car? For the money of course! Providing you drive at least 700 km per month (about 500 miles), each campaign can help you make between a 100 to 300 euros a month. BTW, I hear they are going to sell the Smart car in the US, I'm really eager to see if American drivers will go for such a small vehicle.!

36 comments:

  1. These cars are cute. They have started to use some in Los Angeles as municipal vehicles, but I don't think too many people will want to drive them here with all of the gigantic SUV's we have - if you were driving one of these and got hit by a Hummer, you'd get squashed like a bug!

    When I went to Italy a few years back, the police cars were Smart cars, and it sure didn't look like much of a show of force since the cars are so cute & tiny.

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  2. I have started seeing Smartcars in the Washington DC area. I would be a bit scared on the major highways but we saw one on I95 which is a major 5 lane highway linking Washington DC and Baltimore. I had to take a photo when we saw it.
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/karonf/1358094210/

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  3. One of our friends has one but I agree with the others - I'd be frightened of getting squashed too. As an advertising billboard though, they are very cute.

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  4. I wonder if I can persuade any one to advertise on my Fiesta?! I might advertise my blog!!!

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  5. SmartUSA brought the SmartCar to the Minneapolis Stone Arch Art Festival and it was an hour wait to be able to get a chance to test drive, and I believe they had about 5 cars running at a time. People were very excited about it.

    I can't wait until they start selling them - it will be my next car. And for those concerned about safety - the SmartUSA website addresses the concerns about it being so tiny. The cage of the car is extremely sturdy.

    Thanks for posting this picture Eric! When I was in Paris in May I got a photo of a SmartCar advertising coffee, somehow they even got the exhaust to smell like the coffee, it was very cool.

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  6. Oh yes, I saw this car with the Jungle Book advertisement while I was in Paris recently! Yes, this is the one! I also saw one that had Spiderman over it. All the advertisements are very well done and this encourages drivers to show them around.

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  7. I love those cars, and Katies correct, the engineering of the cars makes them very safe. I'm just disappointed that Chrysler only selling the fortwo. I'd buy a roadster in a heartbeat. I was amazed by them in Paris. I also liked that I saw no real traffic accidents the whole time I was there. Not like America at all.Hmmmm.

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  8. We've been seeing more and more of these in Canada in the last couple of years since they were introduced -- and they're popular for advertising here as well. I live in a small city (80,000) and see them on the streets regularly -- in fact, there are at least 3 parked daily at the campus I work at. If we all fortify ourselves against the prospective Hummers out there, we're obviously doing our environment a huge disservice in the name of safety.

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  9. This would be my dream car, if I could afford it.

    I hope Americans pick up this habit as well.

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  10. Small, mobile, cute...what else does one need to get around town? For me it's just the "bare neccessity" required. *groan* I had to work that one in as the Jungle Book is one of my favourite Disney animated movies and the song rates up there alongside the film for me as one of the most memorable. So here you go...

    Look for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    Old Mother Nature's recipes
    That brings the bare necessities of life

    Wherever I wander, wherever I roam
    I couldn't be fonder of my big home
    The bees are buzzin' in the tree
    To make some honey just for me
    When you look under the rocks and plants
    And take a glance at the fancy ants
    Then maybe try a few

    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    They'll come to you!

    Look for the bare necessities
    The simple bare necessities
    Forget about your worries and your strife
    I mean the bare necessities
    That's why a bear can rest at ease
    With just the bare necessities of life

    Now when you pick a pawpaw
    Or a prickly pear
    And you prick a raw paw
    Next time beware
    Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw
    When you pick a pear
    Try to use the claw
    But you don't need to use the claw
    When you pick a pear of the big pawpaw
    Have I given you a clue ?

    The bare necessities of life will come to you
    They'll come to you!

    So just try and relax, yeah cool it
    Fall apart in my backyard
    'Cause let me tell you something little britches
    If you act like that bee acts, uh uh
    You're working too hard

    And don't spend your time lookin' around
    For something you want that can't be found
    When you find out you can live without it
    And go along not thinkin' about it
    I'll tell you something true

    The bare necessities of life will come to you...

    They'll come to you.

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  11. I think there is one right down the street from me. I will have to get a pic. It is covered with ads for the man's job: real estate agent!
    Thanks,
    Wayne

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  12. I wonder if Blogger.com would pay me for advertising them on my Clio?

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  13. I daresay, quite a large percentage of the US population would'nt actually fit in a Smart car!

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  14. I love them and may buy one when we leve Paris and head back to Ohio - great for running errands, off the major highways - safer than a motorcycle. What will the cost, I wonder?

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  15. The advertising on the little smart car, makes it even cuter. Mogly and Blue would be proud, to see how far from the jungle they have come - all the way to Paris!

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  16. I test drove a SMART in my Canadian community a couple of years ago. It was amazingly comfortable and smooth riding. Unfortunately, there was only enough room for a single piece of paper to be stored behind the seats.

    I still worry when I pass one on the freeway at 100 km/h (60 mph for the rest of you). It seems to shake in a high wind!

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  17. very effective advertising, especially on the Smart car which is cute by itself.
    love your post today Eric!

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  18. I have seen a few in the Chicagoland area and the northern suburbs. With how they drive on the highways here, I would be concerned about a collision with an SUV or speeding car.

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  19. You would be hard pressed to forget where you parked with the adverts all over the car. Portland, OR has a few of them. In fact, a "green" home developer was giving them to people if they bought a new home from them.

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  20. Where is the engine in one of these cars...or is it like the Flinstone car where the feet do all the work? :-) Gas mileage must be incredible in this, eh? I bet you could get two of these in a one car garage, perhaps more. So, how many Frenchmen can you get in one Smart car? Punchline anyone?

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  21. One Frenchman, and one woman: why would you want more?

    I love rich painter's comment.

    These cars are cool. It might be my next one after my Honda Civic wears out (another eon).

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  22. Love it!! I took great photos of one with "Planet Sushi" advertising all over it near rue Mouffetard once. It even had a fish fin on the roof! My great nephew[6 years old]loved it so much he kept asking for a car like that!! LOL!!

    rich.painter21...right on!! Also there isn't enough room in the trunk for them to stash all the useless crap they buy every weekend...at the Mawwwlllllllll!!!

    The real reason it won't fly in the US is that people would get killed in them so easily. The idiots in those huge Denali's and Escalades etc..would just flatten you!!

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  23. If I were a two-car household, this would be ideal as the main car. I could drive this Monday-Friday to work. No problem. But on the weekend this would not work at all. Where would I put my bags of mulch, potting soil, decorative stones, shrubs and plants, etc. etc. I’d have to give up gardening. :( That's just me, though. Safety is still the key issue.

    CNN.com/technology had this to say November 8.

    "... official results won't be out for a while.

    The Smart car has not yet been crash tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which waits until vehicles go on sale to the public before evaluating them, NHTSA spokeswoman Karen Aldana said.

    Experts caution that people for whom safety is a priority should avoid the smallest cars.

    "You can't repeal the laws of physics," said Russ Rader, media relations director for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which conducts its own car crash tests. "Size and weight are very important aspects of safety."

    "You can do things to a small vehicle to make it safer, but it will never be as safe as a bigger heavier vehicle," he said.

    The IIHS -- a nonprofit group funded by auto insurers -- has also not yet crash tested a Smart car, but Rader expressed concern about the number of small cars hitting U.S. roads.

    "There are potential public health consequences in a switch to small, lightweight vehicles and consumers need to know that there is a trade-off for getting better fuel economy," Rader said.

    "The death rate for drivers in the smallest cars is twice as high as it is for people in large cars," he said."

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  24. I've often wondered about the payback for covering your car in all that stuff! There's no way I would make the 770K per month as I walk most places, and I'm not sure if I could deal with being a rolling billboard. For the money... I'm not sure if it's worth it.

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  25. Jeff...loved the punchline! I hoped you would chime in! :-)

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  26. I wonder how much money you'd have to spend on gas to travel that 700km per month?

    It will be interesting to see whether the American market will go for this tiny car. I'll tell you this: it's going to be quite interesting to see this zipping along the American highway alongside those huge SUVs! :)

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  27. I was thinking of buying two and putting them in one of my parking places at my downtown high rise! Actually probably sticking with my Hondas. Having two cars and living downtown may seem silly but this is the U.S. We don't and won't drive as much as we once did. And no SUVs! But there are so many. We need gas prices as high as Europe to discourage them.

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  28. I live in Utah...not the most exciting USA state...but I saw one on the freeway here. I would be scared to drive one with all the other big cars/SUV's around, but I think they are really great.

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  29. And for those of you wondering how safe this car is, here is a hint...

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  30. Makes mine look really boring! Silver and grey...

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  31. I've pre-ordered one here in Portland Oregon. They're are almost 700+ people in Portland who are on the list. I think they'll sell fine as gas prices keep climbing but there will always be those who don't want to change their lifestyle enough to drive a smaller car. I live in the city so I expect I'll notice very little from my other car.

    I write about them on my blog too. I've been itching for mine.

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  32. If New Yorkers drove, that would be their car! There a "Smart" distributor in Brussels near my parents'. By distributor, hear "automatic distributor": they are placed on top of each others, probably 5 or 6 in height. And it really does look like a "distributeur automatique". You can see them from the highway. Pretty cool.

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