Analog is special – (Citroën) marketing doesn’t always have to be digital

In the middle of the pandemic, I received a package from Citroën. I have to admit I was pretty excited about it. Because it was about a mixture of analogue and digital marketing. The focus is definitely on the analogue part. They dare something, I thought to myself. Because the "Car-Tasting" package takes you back to the past and fires your imagination. But at the same time dares to do the balancing act for electric driving. Does that really work? I tried it.

Citroën Car Tasting Box
Citroën Car Tasting Box

Analog marketing is special

We have all more or less gotten used to the flood of digital advertising. This flows so massively through everyday life that hardly anything of it sticks with you for long. It is, quite clearly, too much – the messages that are pouring in on us. It feels really good when a box with automotive content lands on my desk. It's old-school, the exception, and it gets my attention just because of how different it is.

A small Citroën, color and fabric samples, manual and so on. Refreshing analog!
A small Citroën, color and fabric samples, manual and so on. Refreshing analog!

What's in the Citroën box

If you open the box, you will find a small Citroën C4, color and fabric samples, a pen with plenty of double angles, a manual and a USB stick. This is reminiscent of earlier times. Of buying a car at the dealership. The sales folders with paint samples and fabrics from the days before everything went digital.

Hands and eyes now have something to discover. Digitally, the hands have no job, they are bored. It's different today! The fabric patterns are awesome. You can feel them, smell them, inspire your senses and your imagination with them. The paint panels are in caramel brown, Iceland blue and polar white. There are other shades, but I'm missing something really bold underneath. My favorite would be Iceland Blue, maybe Polar White.

I also find the USB stick with digital information about the C4 and Ë-C4, the electric Citroën. Today, the stick only plays a supporting role, as does its content. We travel analogue! Just a small note about the stick: on the back you will find the embossing “The Citroënist” since 1919. A loving salute to tradition on an analogue data carrier. Great!

Samples of fabrics and paints - feel and look!
Samples of fabrics and paints - feel and look!

Does analogue marketing work?

The question is, does analog marketing still work today? Is analogue perhaps better than digital, does an impression stick in the long term? Citroën has included a manual with the “Car-Tasting” box. A tour guide through the world of C4 and Ë-C4 and I take the time to do it. The box and the manual take care of the head cinema. There are sentences to read that stimulate the imagination. Successful marketing poetry in 2022. For example, about the color caramel brown.

"Like liquid toffee, the expressive shade ensnares your senses..."

Now close your eyes – think of caramel and toffee. And what happens now? See it still works!

The love for the small details on the USB stick
The love for the small details on the USB stick

And so it goes on from the colors to the upholstery and the fabrics, to the USB stick and the digital presentation. Well done, refreshingly different, wonderfully mixed with analogue and digital marketing.

The medium-term effects of the Citroën Box are still unclear. I find the content refreshing and bold, especially! While I'm still debating whether there would be room for a CX or XM in the Saab hangar, and I'd be brave enough to make the wish come true, my wife has become interested in a new Citroën. The date for the test drive has not yet been set, but will be booked in the coming days. Somehow things are also going on with my other car brand.

Maybe there will be a sequel to the trip to Citroën in a few weeks. We will read each other.

11 thoughts on "Analog is special – (Citroën) marketing doesn’t always have to be digital"

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    For me, Citroen lost its charm and avant-garde with the departure of the C6/C5. Up until this point in time, the upper class Citroens had been a force for me.

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    I think the package combination is very nice, but unfortunately it's rare these days and I wouldn't have expected it from Citroen in the rather compact to mid-range range. The normal buyer of a Citroen usually only needs the car, everything around it is usually of little interest to him.

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    The Zitrön contribution from Sunday had already hooked me, now Tom follows up. My daughter could imagine a lemon, there's a new car coming up. She thinks that would go well with our Saabinen.

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    Which model is the test drive?

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      Good question, I'm only active in an advisory capacity ;-). My plea goes in the direction of the C4, but my wife tends towards the C3 Aircross. She is currently still driving the Berlingo, with which she is very satisfied. But she wants something more compact.

      update follows...

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        The Berlingo interests me because of the special suspension. Tom, would you like to write something about this?

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          Why not, the Berlingo has been in the family for 3 years. On occasion there will be another trip to France 😉

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        It's fun to look left and right once in a while.
        Even if I have to admit that I don't find much that is new.
        I have the shown model of the C4 while refueling 🙁
        seen. Very chic in a "raspberry red".

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    Better marketing / either or

    Damn exciting question that has accompanied me professionally for years and has not been asked in black and white (digital or analogue) for many years, never has been asked.

    Those were more my customers. And there was a phase in which, regardless of reach, target group, accuracy, costs and effect, a budget had to be used completely digitally and 50 to 90% absolutely, because it was simply considered progressive and chic ...

    Golden times for aimless and countless Google Ads, for Facebook, Twitter and Co. ...

    Everything into the ether and somehow you become someone with the digital “cluster munitions”.
    hit “exactly”. The PR department will somehow impress the management with numbers. The latter actually worked, the former probably not. But it didn't really matter. A PR manager is primarily concerned with management. She's not stupid, she's career-conscious...

    Then there are clicks, likes and followers without end. Plus millions of 9 to 12 year olds who watched the first 4 seconds of a commercial on YouTube and then skipped the ad because they don't give a fuck about investment options, insurance or the latest gas supplier comparison site and just plain megalodon versus Wanted to see T-Rex...

    But it doesn't matter for the numbers. You had the numbers you needed for your own career and management, and that was good.

    Luckily, the hype is slowly dying down. Every budget is limited and must be used in a targeted manner - both digital and analogue. Analog marketing wins, especially in the last few meters of a purchase decision. There is still nothing in this world that any person/consumer has ever experienced purely digitally ...

    We don't have a single sense organ for it. We see, hear, taste, smell and touch analogously. Ultimately, we consume everything and only analog. I have never smelled a leather sofa digitally and never heard a digital sound. Our world of experience is not the binary numbers, but sine waves, chemistry and biology. Even an MP3 is analog again in the headphones or on the domes of the best possible loudspeakers (wooden housing).

    I hope we don't forget that. There are signs of a revival. Also in marketing. It becomes more sensual and human again...

    Either ... or? The question should never have been asked. The answer has always been, both and...

    It's a pity that we took a (completely unnecessary) detour, but that seems to be slowly leveling off. Thank god and finally...

    Why and why should it also be contradictory in itself to feel or look at an analogue fabric or paint sample from the next car on a leather sofa that you sniffed before buying it, while the music in the room comes from digital data carriers or even is streamed.

    Analogue versus digital should never have escalated into a question of faith. This is as superfluous as a goiter on the neck and as infantile as Megalodon vs. T-Rex. We really missed an opportunity to show our offspring how mature, critical, reflected and above all relaxed we all are as adults 😉

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    My memories of Citroen, which are still alive and well after 50 years:
    Driven a new Duck as a student in early 1971 and at the one put on by Citroen
    Participated in the Paris-Persepolis Rally. Due to my co-pilot's illness
    failed, but immortalized in the Citroen book “The Duck-Yesterday-Today-Tomorrow”. A car for pure adventure, for which I needed a dozen guardian angels.
    Also drove the goddess with friends in the early 70s and happened to be at the
    breakout of the RAF terrorists at Chiemsee, where Christian Klar's parents' house is.
    Stopped here by cops with machine guns and the DS almost dismantled,
    because they mistook me for Christian Klar. Saab didn't come into my life until the mid 80's.
    Nevertheless, Citroen and especially the 2CV won't let me go.

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    Great post! A CX or XM would be nice, I think the SÄÄBE wouldn't mind company.

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