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Rappers as Car Reps

Nelly for Ford at SEMA

— November 4, 2008 — Autos
Of the twelve different iterations of the Ford Flex that are being shown at SEMA this year, one of the most prominent features rapper Nelly as its spokesperson.

Ford enlisted Nelly to create his personalized Flex especially for SEMA--a wise move, considering rappers are infamous for customizing their cars and Nelly in particular has customized his teeth with diamond-encrusted gold grills. His design was made into reality by Catalyst Industrial Marketing.

Nelly's SEMA Ford Flex is in a personally-selected shade of blue and has a white roof, 22-inch wheels and an exhaust system. Inside, Tuscany leather interior complements Katzkin seats, and blue stitching matches the car's exterior color. All interior trim matches the car's rooftop art applique, and wireless Internet keeps Nelly connected while driving.
Trend Themes
1. Celebrity Car Collaborations - Car manufacturers enlisting public figures to create personalized vehicles for promotional purposes can create a unique marketing opportunity that appeals to younger and diverse audiences.
2. Custom Car Design - The trend of customization of cars, especially by celebrities, has created a niche market of luxury car interiors and exteriors with unique designs to attract mass consumers.
3. Personalized Aesthetic Car Modifications - The demand for personalized car designs that showcase individuality, celebrity status, and 'bling' culture have fueled new marketing ideas and disruptive innovations in the car industry.
Industry Implications
1. Automotive Industry - Car manufacturers marketing personalized designs, especially to younger audiences, have a chance to capture market share and brand loyalty by embracing celebrity collaborations and customization.
2. Marketing and Advertising Industry - The use of public figures, especially those in the music industry, to promote unique products and promote events can create meaningful connections with a wide range of consumers.
3. Luxury Customization Industry - The trend of customizing vehicles and embracing personalization has created new niches for companies that specialize in luxury car interiors and exteriors, as well as other personalized modifications, to capitalize on a growing market demand.
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