How Not to Write a Sponsored Post

We are 23 years into the new millennium, the age of wifi, smartphones, access to the internet & social media at the fingertips, and technology riding the waves while continuously pushing boundaries. Even those without access to traditional media are well-informed in today’s age of massive and instant information exchange.

But even in this day and age, some companies still think as if newspapers are the only way to reach people and that any content they supply should be blindly accepted without any question whatsoever. I recently came across a Sponsored Post that has been published by various portals already, with a few minor wording changes here and there. However, the copy and content could have been written in a much more effective way. Let’s analyze the said content & see why it fails to serve its purpose.

In a groundbreaking move in the automobile industry, Proton, the globally acclaimed car manufacturer, and Dubai Islamic Bank, a leading financial institution, have announced a strategic partnership. This collaboration is set to redefine the standards of car ownership, offering an exclusive package for the PROTON SAGA ACE.

The announcement is regarding a bank teaming up with an assembler to offer financing solutions on the purchase of a locally assembled car. This is nothing new at all because practically every car produced by most automakers is supported by a number of banks that provide comparable financing options. There is absolutely nothing groundbreaking about it, nor it will redefine the standards of car ownership in Pakistan.

Proton SAGA ACE2

Secondly, if it is such a “groundbreaking” offer as they portray, why is it limited to just 1 variant of 1 automobile in the automaker’s lineup? Why buyers of Proton Saga MT and AT variants are not eligible to experience the so-called redefined car ownership standards?

Proton, with its rich legacy of innovation and excellence in automotive design, has always been at the forefront of delivering superior driving experiences. Their vehicles are not just a means of transportation but epitomize style and sophistication.

Well, that’s a bit of a stretch really. Forget about delivering superior driving experiences, Proton is unable to simply deliver the vehicles to its customers for over 2 years of presence in the country. There is a huge backlash on undelivered units and subsequent unjust price hikes that are blatantly imposed on even those who made full payments and were desperately waiting for several months to get their vehicles delivered, hundreds of bookings have been canceled, and the company is even unable to pay refunds, while within the last month, 4 dealerships have already parted ways with Proton.

The PROTON SAGA ACE, the newest addition to their esteemed lineup, embodies modern design, cutting-edge technology, and Proton’s unmatched craftsmanship. It promises to be a trendsetter in its segment, offering an unparalleled driving experience.

Since when did the Saga Ace become the newest addition to the lineup? It’s there right from the start when Proton launched the sedan in April 2021. Secondly, it doesn’t embody a modern design, it’s basically a 20-year-old car as far as the styling is concerned. And what cutting-edge technology? Everyone knows the car has a dated design, is built on a dated platform, and comes equipped with a primitive hydraulic power steering and conventional torque-converter 4-speed automatic gearbox. There is nothing cutting-edge here as there is no electric power steering, no modern-day CVT, or a 7-speed DCT gearbox, and no modern-day fuel-saving tech either. In fact, the Saga is known to have one of the worst fuel economy when compared to other sedans in the market. The “cutting-edge” term is more appropriate for Proton’s X70 for sure but not Saga.

*Enjoy the advantage of priority delivery.

*Guarantee the best price for the purchase with a unique price lock feature.

*Avail comprehensive coverage at an unbeatable rate of Takaful at 1.5%.

*Experience a smooth and swift purchase process with priority case approvals.

*Save with a 50% discount on processing fees.

*Bypass the usual registration process and get on the road sooner with free vehicle registration.

*Start the driving adventure with a complimentary full tank of fuel on delivery.

*Benefit from stress-free maintenance during the initial phase with the first three periodic maintenance offered for free.

Then comes the list of package details & benefits the bank is offering which is nothing out of this world and is pretty much the same as offered by any bank for any random car available on the market.

This alliance between Proton and Dubai Islamic Bank is more than just a business collaboration; it’s a commitment to offering customers an unmatched blend of luxury, convenience, and value.

For heaven’s sake, Proton Saga has got nothing to do with luxury. It’s a very basic A-segment sedan with a very basic list of features and equipment. It’s of course a nice to-the-purpose car for middle-class buyers and does its job what it’s supposed to do, but a reasonably priced mass-market vehicle cannot be classified as a luxury at all. It’s another debate as the price of Proton Saga Ace is PKR 40.99 lac and is already beyond the reach of many.

The automotive industry is abuzz with anticipation, waiting to see the market’s response to this unparalleled offering. As both entities look forward to more synergies in the future, the PROTON SAGA ACE, with its array of exclusive benefits, is poised to be a market disruptor.

The overall copy appears to have been created using an automated AI tool and proofread by a person who simply represents someone sitting in a typical corporate office with a stiff neck and high chin having no understanding of market dynamics, the positioning of the product, and how his brand is perceived by consumers as a result of the company’s questionable business practices during all this time.

Related: The Deceptive Marketing Practices

It would have been better if the copy used a more humble and apologetic tone that shows that the company is concerned about customer miseries and is willing to patch up its tarnished reputation. It would have acted to heal the wounds of the already hurt customers rather than projecting the offer as something out of this world and more like a blessing to the consumers who should remain grateful to the company for launching the car regardless of whether they deliver or not. Since such campaigns are bound to fail; perhaps the company should invest a little more to generate stronger & more effective content in the future and make a genuine effort to relate to its customers in a better and more caring way.

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