Motormouth: Influencers who drive sponsored cars might sway their followers into driving the same cars, but only in a dream world

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Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1711805977393 Motormouth+ +Influencers+Who+Drive+Sponsored+Cars+ +Featured

A social-media star who drives around in a certain new car could create a star car of sorts, but this kind of product endorsement only works on the impressionable. 

It is not enough for the impressionable people in question to merely notice the car being driven around by their favourite celebrity (minor or major, aspiring or established, fringe or mainstream). They also need to put their money whether their mouth is and buy the car, or at least take it for a test-drive at the showroom so that the client can determine whether the celebrity endorsement was effective enough to justify the investment. 

Of course, buying a car just because it is endorsed by someone you follow/idolise would be much harder and many times more expensive than getting a gadget, fashion item, or household appliance. 

Even if you can afford it, would you want to? Discerning consumers shouldn’t let the paid opinion of a well-known person supersede their usual homework based on expert reviews, actual users’ feedback, trustworthy word of mouth, and good old touch-and-feel. 

Of course, any local personality in an advertisement or advertorial would drum up the publicity for the business, especially when it’s related to health and beauty. After all, seeing the seemingly magical effect of the supplement/shampoo/cream and whatnot on the good-looking personality would go some way towards convincing potential customers that they ought to buy this stuff or try the samples.

Speaking of tryout, Opel was possibly the first car brand in Singapore to raise its market profile by putting a television celeb in one of its models. Evelyn Tan, then with Channel U, was appointed as Opel product ambassador in 2001 and she got a Corsa supermini, although she had to pay for its COE. 

Other celebrities followed in Evelyn’s wheel tracks. Wacky TV host Kym Ng zipped around in a Eurokars-sponsored Saab 9-3 Aero, radio deejay Marilyn Lee drove a Punto in a tie-up with the Fiat agent, and model-cum-emcee Jaymee Ong enjoyed a Mitsubishi i kei-car for six months courtesy of Cycle & Carriage.  

Leading men also got in on the act, with Mediacorp actor Tay Ping Hui arguably the most successful. He was the Mercedes-Benz Singapore ambassador for a few years, with his starring role in the C-Class. Tay’s Caldecott Hill compatriot, Elvin Ng, was given the keys to a complimentary CLC180 when the facelifted coupe was launched, but the handsome man didn’t get to keep it all the way.  

I am neither handsome nor winsome, and my sphere of influence is somewhere between limited and laughable, so I don’t expect any company to seek my personal support to endorse a particular product. 

However, if I ever become a notable micro-influencer in Singapore's automotive arena, I would gladly accept free drives for life from car companies which want to leverage my little bit of influence - flash drives, to be exact. 

Editors%2 Fimages%2 F1711806228382 Motormouth+ +Influencers+Who+Drive+Sponsored+CarsThese influencers are out to influence the impressionable with their choice of clothes and car.

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