Driveway skips essential point in promotion

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MARKETER: Driveway Corp.

WHERE TO FIND IT: Microsoft Corp.'s Slate

CRITIQUE: Jaguar. Just the name conjures all sorts of images. You're undoubtedly picturing a car -- either silver or English-racing green, depending on taste -- and not an animal. The connotations of this brand are simple and elegant: a car with style and class, an auto for distinguished people who haven't lost their sporty touch.

You're not, we would guess, thinking about a car that's perfect for some back-seat frolicking. Children are conceived in Chevys and Dodges. Perhaps the occasional Buick. It's the American way.

Yet here is a company with the style to give away a sporty new Jaguar, but the gall to advertise it with the slogan "Win one. Get some." next to a picture of a Jag rocking on its shocks.

Driveway Corp.'s Driveway.com (www.driveway.com) is guilty of being tasteless. It isn't the first company to take the low road, nor will it be the last. While Driveway.com states Jaguar has nothing to do with the promotion that offers the car as a grand prize for registering, Jaguar owner Ford Motor Co. should examine this use of its brand.

Even beyond all of this, however, is the problem of yet another start-up.com failing to tell the consumer in its banner ad what it has to offer. Although the name Driveway and giving away a car suggest it, this site has nothing to do whatsoever with anything automotive. What it does do is allow people to store digital files online.

Therein lies the real problem. Luring people to your site is not the same as attracting qualified users. And if it wants traffic in its driveway, this ad might be a way to get some, but that doesn't mean Driveway will win.

WHO CREATED IT: Elvis & Bonaparte, Portland, Ore.

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