Football Woos Auto Advertisers, Rivian’s Lobby Journey, The Merge Worked

September 19, 2022
It’s Monday and we have a great week in the works! Today we cover the auto advertisers who are swooning back to the live viewership. We also meet Rivian’s Chief Lobbyist and get into the WSJ comments section, as well as the impact of the much awaited ‘merge’ for the crypto currency Ethereum.
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Football is back and so are Automotive advertisers as spending jumped over 260% from the week prior according to data from $6.6M to $23.8M. 75% was allocated to NFL Games

  • Honda and Nissan grabbed the #1 and #2 spots with Honda dropping $8.1M on it’s “Forever Determined” 30 sec spot
  • Nissan’s “60 years in 30 seconds” spot was targeted to college games
  • Hyundai, Chevrolet, and GMC were also on the field with new commercials
  • Hyundai’s 60 second “Chewy” was the fan favorite

The Chief Lobbyist at Rivian, Jim Chen, is a former Tesla exec, wears cowboy boots, and is making it his mission to end the traditional model of selling cars.

  • Fascinating story of “the wonky lawyer who produces evidence for his views and talks a lot about free market principles”
  • Cites local Dealers power at the state level as the reason for the difficulty in establishing the D2C model
  • “When you have one person who controls all the marbles, you get marbles when they want to give it to you,” said Don Hall, president of the Virginia Automobile Dealers Association. Mike Stanton, the president of the National Automobile Dealers Association, added that “there are rules in place for a reason.”
  • $5.5B loss for 2022 while delivering 5700 units. Loss of $96,491 per vehicle
  • "Dealers and state lawmakers who oppose Mr. Chen’s efforts say that independent dealerships play a critical role in the car-buying process, helping to create competition between franchises that ultimately keeps prices affordable for consumers. They argue that dealers also provide important services, such as repair and warranty work, and arrange financing for buyers at competitive rates."
  • How can those arguments be proffered with a straight face?  Do they really think we are that gullible to believe that online sales would enhance competition by letting customers shop around.
  • Ask anyone who has a brain if they'd rather be able to avoid trips to a showroom, and if they also think that they'd get better financing deals online.  Ridiculously anti-consumer.

"Auto dealers have been a fixture of American life since the early part of the 20th century, when auto makers first needed retail networks capable of selling large volumes of cars. Independent dealers did the hard and expensive work of finding customers, advertising in specific markets and servicing. "

  • That's the same argument that the weavers' guilds made centuries ago when the loom was invented. Give me a break.


Kyle Mountsier, Paul Daly, Commercial

Paul Daly  00:20

yo good morning. Good morning Happy Monday. Today we're gonna talk about football really thrown in on the football. Automotive thrown in a football ads reviens lobby journey and Kyle has a hat on it isn't flat the people really want to know how showed up in the live stream this morning I was like who's this? Who got access to the stream? The wrong link to the wrong guy. I'll tell people where you're at if you're if you're listening only QA might sound the same but he looks different. And he's like he's got a

Kyle Mountsier  00:53

beautiful gorgeous coming Georgia this morning on a golf course behind me the Polo golf course and Polo Club and golf course it is absolutely beautiful out here with our good friend investor. Just general incredible human Patrick a bat and his team with beaver Toyota they are raising funds for some really incredible local charities that support kids and this place I'm telling you what if you've not been to Beaver Toyota, the actual store with a with a cafe and a nail salon and everything like that, you you you have to know that beaver Toyota only does things one way and that's full throttle. And they've done it again. Translated that to the golf chair to the golf tournament. Yeah, so so I've got my golf hat on. I've got a quarter zip because it's a little brisk out here at least for us Southerners. It's only three. And yeah, just really excited to kind of have a day in and experience this and right alongside these guys because they are they're transforming communities. Just like many auto dealers, so I can't wait to story it up. It's gonna be great.

Paul Daly  02:02

That's amazing. Actually, it's warmer in Syracuse than it isn't coming Georgia today.

Kyle Mountsier  02:05

That's and That's

Paul Daly  02:07

69 degrees today. Or at least right now. Right? Yeah.

Kyle Mountsier  02:12

91 Today we'll get Yeah,

Paul Daly  02:13

we definitely won't get 75 That's it. We're at 75 for a high today. But obviously the world is spinning a lot of things going on. Football is back. Like if you don't really I mean, I know it started last weekend but we were at asotucon so like although, you know we were walking around and we saw the screens where football was being played like I missed week one.

Kyle Mountsier  02:36

Oh no clue. Yes. Exact.

Paul Daly  02:37

I know there you go Saturday when I got to see like three plays while I was picking up food.

Kyle Mountsier  02:41

Yeah, so yesterday was was really fun because I get I get the reminder text I do a little fantasy football. I get the reminder text and it's like, there's like a billion injuries from

Paul Daly  02:52

so right. Yeah, that's got right. He's the only one I knew that got hurt real bad.

Kyle Mountsier  02:56

Yeah. Which is my quarterback.

Paul Daly  02:59

So is he really got that out. So I was sorry, I say that is

Kyle Mountsier  03:07

back in full swing. And I'm telling you what, just watching. You know, you think about like, when you constantly when you start to have your brand hat on a lot. You start looking at everything across the way contents created commercials you think about, like, I even think, you know, we were running last week with asotu icon and watching our team, take the morning footage and, and pop it out the night before and just the efficiency that sports casting has to go like that play just happened. And then we read it back slow mode, you know, from a multi

Paul Daly  03:42

frame. And then when you come back from commercial break, it's part of a stinger reel. Right? Right. Well, with like some, some crazy music playing right and you're seeing all the hits. Yeah, I guess we could learn a thing or two, I guess it was kind of we kind of feel a little bit bit like the NFL. Well, today we're talking about football. In the beginning because football. Automotive ads are back in full force spending jumped 260% week over week. According to data, that's from 6.6 million to $23.8 million spent by automotive OEMs and 75% of that was allocated to the NFL the other 25 was allocated to college and get a check this out. I think I saw that there was like 75% of all live TV watching over the weekend was football.

Kyle Mountsier  04:30

That's that is nuts.

Paul Daly  04:33

I believe it though. What else you're watching what else? Yeah,

Kyle Mountsier  04:37

I mean, not just that but a lot of it is still like most people don't stream NFL these days because it's like a ticket package or something like it's terrible because DirecTV is terrible Exactly. So there's still that's linear so if you think about it like the the TV watching, but I'm guessing even the general TV watching. There's just not much live on the weekends. You know, it's live it's there's not my

Paul Daly  04:58

first week in September. Second week, September, I agree. And so, but either way All eyes are on football, and therefore a lot of auto advertisers trying to take a couple different directions on, on how they're going to like portray or trying to promote impressions and brand impressions throughout this time. So we're gonna roll three commercials, we've never done this before. We're gonna roll three commercials. We're gonna roll, one from Honda one from Nissan, and one from Hyundai. And so Honda and Nissan grab the number one to one in two spots by spending the most money Honda dropped 8.1 million. That's a lot of money. That's getting close to Superbowl money.

Kyle Mountsier  05:36

You know what I mean? Unbelievable.

Paul Daly  05:39

I mean, granted, granted, this

Kyle Mountsier  05:42

tension is there, then why not go where the tension is? Right? I

Paul Daly  05:46

mean, it's kind of good timing for Honda, right? Like we saw in the news that they kind of got dinged by dealers is one of the lowest as one of the lowest kind of brand. I don't remember what the survey was, but they they were kind of at the bottom. So it's kind of nice that they have a big spend coming up. If you're a Honda dealer, you know, you're feeling good seeing your brand out there, on there. So, Isaac, why don't you pull up the Honda commercial? This is a 32nd commercial motor, and you

Commercial  06:08

will never be more than that. What will they say? Next?

Paul Daly  06:19

All right, so what you saw on to the power of dreams, if you're just listening, what you saw was the fact that Honda started as a motorized bicycle company, then obviously they're showing motorcycles and then they're showing cars and they're showing off road and the showing boats and they say what will you know what will what will you know, people dream of next and then it's actually like a quadcopter mobile transport flying through a city. Okay, so I see what you're doing Honda talking a little legacy, right? Because obviously the next step, you know, they go all like quadcopter, but obviously, EVs in the big transition. So a big brand play, right? Nothing, nothing about a specific product or anything go brand. Let's see what Nissan did. So this one is called 60. Honda's is called Forever determined. Nissan's is called 60 years in 30 seconds, roll the tape it

Commercial  07:08

took a while to get up here. We started out around 1959.

Paul Daly  07:14

That's Captain barbell by the way, then we took a hard

Commercial  07:15

left and East Africa. Right up Aha. A one at the Empty Quarter. And that's that 65 degree incline it Hell's revenge. But we didn't do all that just to get here. We did it to give you a truck that'll take you anywhere. This is the new Nissan.

Kyle Mountsier  07:36

Alright, so right here, we're seeing the theme. I think we're seeing a theme. This was

Paul Daly  07:41

a big thing. Well, the third one is going to punch you in the face after this. But oh, but I can't remember her name. But I just remember her as Captain Marvel. So obviously, they got some star power behind the wheel. And she was driving all the different vehicles as they're going through again, years. Yeah, the old stuff into the new stuff and the off road and you know, and it ends with I think it was a Pathfinder. Was that a pathfinder up on top of the mountain, right? Well, we think of next right Brie Larson. Thank you so much, Nathan. Appreciate that. Okay, so that is Hyundai's now. I mean, that is Nissan's Hyundai's now is called chewy and this one's probably gonna need a little more description after the commercial because there's less you know, it describes less of what's going on but just just if you're just listening to the podcast, just be absorbed in the moment and know that involves a puppy that gets older All right go ahead roll it out. Maybe we'll go to grandma's house after this

Kyle Mountsier  08:38

know so the dads out he's like I'm not kidding.

Paul Daly  08:42

But the dogs in the car down. mile 4095 he runs into 10 shakes off this is true football high

Kyle Mountsier  08:56

compensating video

Paul Daly  09:00

that's getting home now a dog is waiting for him when he gets home we're like wow All right, go get it. Dog has now grown up at miles out on the beach. I'm gonna go for a mile 75,000 Now the kids go to get the car and the dog is in the front seat. With the

Kyle Mountsier  09:23

sweater matching.

Commercial  09:24

When it comes to lasting relationships we're thinking of every mile the new Hyundai Tucson it's your journey.

Paul Daly  09:31

Through the sweater though is what I've missed that all. I missed the sweater part. So basically what you have is a 62nd journey of can we get the dog that as like heck no dogs in the car as the miles on the vehicle they're going right the dad's getting more and more connected the dogs ingratiate himself till at the end where like the kids are older and the dog is now in the prime spot. Right? I didn't realize the first time through it's a Tucson commercial. So it actually is a product commercial. Not branded commercial. Yeah, yep. And so that one got that one was like the fan favorite big surprise.

Kyle Mountsier  10:07

Yeah, I mean, all the fields, but all the all three of them are doing this like legacy emotion, right? That's the that's the it seems like, all three of these car commercials have said, here's the legacy. Here's the walk through here. There's a timeline, there's a journey, that then end somewhere. And so I think you're seeing that as the storyboard for a lot of OEMs. Right now, I've seen that across a bunch of OEMs, that it is going less product focus and, and all of the focus actually, it's interesting, because, I mean, I'm a Mazda guy, but you go back like four or five years. And actually Mazda was an early, early, like legacy through the years car commercial. So you see that storyboard coming, coming through? You know, BMW has done a lot of that in the past. Interesting to see that as the theme for all three of these

Paul Daly  10:56

it is and we thought it was a lot of fun that a good way to get us into money because the next one's not going to be so fun loving.

Kyle Mountsier  11:02

This one has a lot of scratches in it. Speaking of

Paul Daly  11:05

brand adoption, segue. So a good friend of ours, shot this article over to me yesterday, and said, Yeah, read the article, but but please read the comments. So here we go. We're gonna get into this a little bit. So the chief, this is the Wall Street Journal article. So I want you to contextualize the audience, right? This isn't a random Reddit Reddit thread with Anonymous commenters, right? This is the Wall Street Journal. audience. So you think business folks, entrepreneurs, kind of the, you know, the mid to upper income, right? You pay for subscriptions owned by Dow Jones. So I just want to give you that as context. This is a long form article, we linked it up in the show notes. It's worth reading really is worth reading. I'm Shire article. It's very long. It's a long one but and read the comments. So here it is the chief lobbyist at rivian. His name is Jim Chen. He's a former Texas Tech Tesla executive. He wears cowboy boots, and he's making it his mission to end the traditional model of selling cars. It is a fascinating story, what he would describe as himself as a wonky lawyer who produces evidence for his views and talks a lot about free market principles. He worked for the EPA. And he actually helped Tesla fix some like tax incentive, like mess ups that were happening there. They ended up getting hired by Tesla got burned out after a few years of Tesla. He was working he was on the road 50 weeks a year actually, Kyle, he actually said simply when he knew he had to go is because his dog died, you know, trailing on the dog from his dog died because he didn't have time to take it to the vet.

Kyle Mountsier  12:40

Oh my goodness. Yeah. Gotta be done at that point on Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's putting in some work. That's

Paul Daly  12:47

the word. His father served in the Taiwanese Navy. And he also cites not letting China get the advantage on this new emerging Evie technology as one of his primary motivators, so he's got it seems like a man with a chip on his shoulder, some deep passion. I like the fact he wears the cowboy boots, because you know, it might as well be a flat brim hat.

Kyle Mountsier  13:07

Yeah, the picture do we have the picture of him? If we don't have the picture? I love it. Yeah, it gets a picture of him up. Yeah.

Paul Daly  13:14

It's good. So So basically, this is a story of him and kind of the it's a good story about like the history of the franchise model, um, kind of the history of trying to get you know, the the direct to consumer model adopted through the state to tell us a little Tesla story. And what it does highlight is that he's saying the the local dealer network at the state level is kind of the the last holdout for the reason there can't be mass influx of direct consumer right talks about you know, the reasons for it, and the other traditional OEMs would want it to happen. And how for tried in the past that didn't work actually cited a couple of people that we were spent some time with earlier in the year, both Don Hall and Mike Stanton are cited in the article right next to each other, I read this quote, Kyle, and then we'll move on and we'll start talking about the comments and stuff. So here's Don Hall, when you have one person who controls all the marbles, you get marbles when they want to give it to you. So obviously his position, why the direct to consumer model and giving the OEMs all the distribution power and sales power would not be good for the consumer, Mike Stanton, who we all know President of nada said there are added there are rules in place for a reason. Okay. There's a lot to unpack, oh, there's

Kyle Mountsier  14:32

the picture. There's the picture in the back of a truck, but I love it, it's great. But there's a lot to unpack and I you know, I try and look at this from both sides, because obviously being on the dealer side, a pro dealer person and also understanding the consumer. You know, you look at both sides, and there there are so many benefits on both sides. And the problem is, is that typically, the way that we communicate is in a very adversarial way, right? And so I love Don and I love Mike here. But saying like there are rules in place for a reason, or these people control the marbles is an adversarial approach to why the why the dealer network is so good. And I think if we positioned it much more of a consumer centric, like that actually cares for the customer, that the comments in that we're about to read may not come so harshly. I don't know it. No, I mean, our mode of communication is just adversarial instead of like, hey, we realize we've messed up. Sorry. You know,

Paul Daly  15:34

yeah, there. I mean, it's not all the communication there was. But I would agree with you that the position usually taken is like war time language. Right, right. Yep. It's war, time, language and war time, language doesn't tend to communicate any empathy, right? It communicates ultimatums and facts, right? Facts are good. But when you're communicating with a consumer, you need facts, but you need to lead and base that sucker in empathy and an understanding show that you open the ears and eyes and hearts of people to be able to willing to even listen because when you, you draw a line in the sand and I know like, we're we're fighting for our lives here. So there's an important element, we just want to encourage like we need, we need to win the hearts of the consumers back. Right. And there are a lot of people like you're sitting right now, in the midst of a big Beaver, Toyota charity, golf event, major part of the community, like you have hearts minds, right? You they're all there. Right? Yeah. And that story needs to be told there because those are the folks that consumers are the ones we need to step up for us. Right? Because laws are made by legislators, legislators are voted in by people and then people vote with their emotions and their hearts and they're not always their heads, you know what I mean? So, we're gonna read some comments from this Wall Street Journal article, and then we'll just throw out a little commentary and then Kyle's got a tea time I don't know what your tea time is

Kyle Mountsier  16:54

real. Okay, the clock and I gotta get registered and they say it takes 15 minutes. So let's Okay.

Paul Daly  17:03

Dealers and state lawmakers. Here's comment number one who opposed Mr. Chen's efforts say that independent dealerships play a critical role in the car buying processes, helping to complete competition between franchises that ultimately keeps prices available. They argue dealers also provide important services such as repair and warranty work and arrange financing for buyers at competitive rates. We've heard all of those arguments put forward by dealers and he says how can these arguments be proffered with a straight face? Do they really think we're Goble to believe that online sales would enhance competition by letting customers shop around or would not enhance competition said Ask anyone who has a brain if they'd rather be able to avoid trips to a showroom? And also if they think they'd be getting better financing deals online, ridiculously anti consumer? There's one. Here's another one auto dealers have been a fixture of American life since the early part of the 20th century. This is he's repeating what's in the article independent dealers did the hard work and expensive work of finding customers advertising in specific markets and servicing. We fully agree with that. That was a lot of hard work there. The reason there's wide automotive adoption in the US. And he said, That's an awesome, that's the same argument the weavers guild made centuries ago when the loom was invented, give me a break,

Kyle Mountsier  18:14

I was dropped off mic and walked out. That's cold blooded. Like, we can't, we can't just say because it's always been there. It has to be there. There has to be a better story.

Paul Daly  18:27

We have to because I said Yeah, exactly. Let's go. Let's go with one. One. With one more a couple of people stepped up one person said buying a car without trying it first or driving it first is ridiculous. Obviously advocating for an in person experience. And one other person says I think most of us could agree that Buying a car is one of the most painful aspects of daily life, the games dealers play by putting a salesperson in front of you as a puppet or mouthpiece for the sales manager is silly at best if you want to pay cash and don't have a trade and you lose because the sales team has no leverage. And another comments and car manufacturers want to eliminate the dealers because that eliminates the middleman and increases their margin. So a full range of real talk in the comment

Kyle Mountsier  19:09

section. You know, we always know that the negative comments and threads I don't care if it's Reddit or The Wall Street Journal always rise to the top. But we have to be cognizant of the fact that this is the prevailing narrative in our culture, and crafting a better story that isn't filled with legacy mindsets, or we've always done it this way and the rules are in place so the rules can happen. We have to tell a better story that's consumer centric, that understands the needs of the consumer drives them to online purchasing, like they're asking for, and creates a narrative that they desire. And that's that's the wave of communication that every dealer, every state organization that nada doesn't matter what organization has to has to enter into. We have to just tell a better story. Not state the facts.

Paul Daly  19:52

Yeah, so we're not reading these things to you this morning to bum you out, right? We're saying like this is out there. We are compelling you The asoto community, the asoto verse, we just spent time together, understanding and believing in what this can be. And we need to work and now like the hard work was a distribution network in real estate and all that stuff. The new hard work is communication and compelling hearts and minds. Kyle's got a tee time to get to. You have a lot of hearts and minds to compel. We're going to start doing it with you today. Go out there compel a heart compel a mind, tell us what happened. We'll post it here on the show.

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