by Stefania Revelli
Call me a hopeless romantic and you’d be right. I’ll admit I’m a total sucker for storybook romances — from Austen’s timeless Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy to Meyer’s supernatural Edward and Bella. I guess I’m generally hooked on compelling relationship stories, especially the ones that endure through uncertain times.
Clearly, Cupid’s got his work cut out this year. Statistics often show that couples point to “money problems” as the number one reason for splitting (SixWise.com 1.09). In today’s economic hurricane, consumer relationships with brands are especially strained. Saving money emerges as an effective defense strategy against uncertainty, making it even more difficult for costly categories — like automobiles — to woo consumers.
Hyundai is getting some love through its Assurance program, which lets buyers return a vehicle up to one year after purchase if they lose their income. Many consumers signed on the dotted line in January, earning Hyundai a 14% sales increase while other carmakers suffered losses (MarketWatch 2.3.09). And Honda’s online series of short films, “The Power of Dreams,” takes a very transparent, hopeful approach through strong visual metaphors that emphasize rising after falling.