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Dodge Vipers Marketing Scheme Compared to RED's


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#1 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 04:48 AM

I haven't put much thought into this, but it did pop into my mind.

My uncle owns a Dodge Viper. There was a new model coming out a few years back, that you could only buy if you all ready owned a viper that was bought from a dealership. Kind of a "club" deal.

I was thinking about RED offering to trade in a RED 1 for an Epic S35 only...

am I on to something?

conspiracy theories anyone?
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:01 PM

conspiracy theories anyone?


No, not really, since anyone can buy an Epic and there is no hidden benefit to RED offering the trade-in other than goodwill to their RED customers.
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#3 Tom Lowe

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 12:25 PM

I would not be surprised if Jim also had in mind keeping R1 sales going with his generous trade-in and Epic X offers. They probably don't want R1 sales to completely grind to a halt while everyone waits for DSMC.
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#4 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:26 PM

Last I heard, Red One's trade in value for an Epic X is $17.5k. I don't know how I would feel if I had payed full ticket price for a Red One , under the Obsolescence Obsolete (or whatever it is called) deal and a year later find out that my camera will be technically obsolete when Epic comes out, but wait! for a mere $17.5 k I can get their now top-of- the-line camera brain. And they call it a reward too. Like they are doing one, the loyal customer (read sucker) a favor.

How is that any different than buying a car and a year later taking it in to the dealership for a new one, upgrading it with the older car's trade in value amount AND an additionally hefty purchase amount? Because you can keep the same viewfinder and battery pack?

SO then at the car dealership they could claim the same, that they cars are never going to be obsolete if they let one keep the older car's wheels, battery and the steering wheel, etc. still charging a lot of money for the "real" upgrade? :blink:

You would think that they would let you upgrade the sensor only if you needed to, that is what Obsolescence Obsolete means to me. But what do I know, me little person me? Jim and Co. sure aren't gonna go by what I think, now will they?
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#5 Joe Taylor

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:40 PM

Well, if it makes anybody feel better, Dodge is owned by Chrysler. Most people know how their business models work for them. These aren't the days to be alienating your base i.e. Red 1 owners. I for one feel like something RED dug out their collective ear and scrapped off on the bottom of their shoe.
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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 06:54 PM

I don't see why any sane person would have believed that a newer, better digital camera would not have come along after their purchase, so I don't buy this notion that anyone was "suckered" into buying a RED ONE unless they really were an idiot of the first order and honestly thought that technology would stop dead with the release of the RED ONE, or barring that, that for the rest of their life, RED owed them a new camera every couple of years to replace the old one. FOR FREE.

I mean, honestly, can anyone here tell me that they really thought that's what "obsolescene is obsolete" or whatever, really meant?

The RED ONE is upgradable within limits, like most pieces of technology, and there is a system in place for it to happen at RED, just as some upgrades to the F900 and whatnot were offered by Sony, and RED's upgrade policy is a lot more generous than Sony's...

So it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to say that a company with a generous upgrade policy is more "suckering" than a company with a less generous policy, unless you honestly and truly believed that (1) nothing better would ever get released than a RED ONE, or (2) that for the rest of your life, you were owed the best and greatest newest camera from RED because you purchased one of their first cameras. What company could stay in business with a plan like that??? So what sort of moron thought that either (1) or (2) was a likely scenario? What sort of fool thought that was exactly what RED was offering?

A catchy-but-vague advertising slogan does not mean that people have to switch off their brains! Doesn't anyone remember the phrase Caveat Emptor?

I took the slogan as meaning that the camera had the potential to be upgradable over time, but not that could always be made to be equal to what technology could come up with in the future.

There is a responsibility on the part of the consumer to be skeptical and to read the fine print, not take advertising slogans as Gospel.

RED is a victim of their own success at marketing -- they raised expectations to such dizzying levels that some people were bound to feel let down by reality. But personally, maybe because I've always distrusted marketing campaigns, I have always taken the attitude that the truth will always come out in the end and the product has to stand on its own, good or bad. Nowadays people are getting a more accurate view of the RED as it gets used worldwide. But the purpose of marketing is not to be educational, it's to get you to buy something, so it's important for the consumer to do their own research and be cautious.
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#7 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:12 PM

Joe, just to be clear, in my diatribe against ill-educated consumers, I wasn't referring to you. I understand your inevitable disappointment in getting a RED just as a new product line is being announced that totally revamps the entire concept of the camera. It's just my belief that that's the nature of investing in high-tech electronic equipment -- you will always be disappointed with your purchase as soon as something better is released.

On the other hand, look at how many years, if not decades, professional betacam equipment was used -- if the quality is high enough for your market, then the fact that higher-quality gear becomes available doesn't mean that what you are using is no longer good enough. In fact, Digital Betacam cameras really didn't take off because so many people had invested in regular Betacams and the quality was great for SD broadcast purposes. So depending on what market you are shooting for, the image from the RED ONE will probably be just fine for most purposes even if you did no upgrading at all.
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#8 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 07:33 PM

Wow!

Yeah, perhaps is stupid, insane, moronic and foolsih to think that a company would design a truly modular camera, whose parts can be upgraded when they need to. Wasn't Red doing that for a while, anyway? When the first cameras came out, they were recalled after a while and modified by them to meet the specs of the second wave of cameras? So perhaps it was stupid to think they would do the same thing to the loyal customers who bought their newly obsolete cameras.

Anyway, this already happens in other industries such as personal computers. One is able to buy a PC enclosure and customize it with individual components. Motherboard, hard drives, processors, power supply, keyboards and monitors and the rest are all user customizable and upgradeable.

It looks like the morons weren't too far off, after all.
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#9 Tom Lowe

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 08:08 PM

You know, my high-end Dell laptop I bought about 15 months ago is already obsolete. The newer Quad-core laptops coming out this month are nearly 3 times faster than mine. I wonder if Dell will give me $1,900 toward a trade-in on a new laptop? Nope. I can barely sell it for $600 on ebay, if I'm lucky.

A buddy of mine has a Canon 1Ds Mark II that cost him $7,000 about 15 months ago. I wonder if Canon will give him a $7,000 credit toward a new 1Ds Mark III? Nope. He'll be lucky to scrape 2 grand off ebay.

My Ford Explorer cost me $30,000 in 2006. I wonder if Ford will give me $30,000 toward a new hybrid SUV?

:rolleyes:
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#10 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 31 December 2008 - 10:45 PM

For the record I didn't mean that upgrades of RED One to Epic X should be free.

But, if some of us cannot see the benefit of true modular design for cars, computers and cameras (and everything else really) in ways to minimize waste, cut prices at every level, from production to retail and do so while making a profit, then we only have ourselves (and the current group think) to blame.

I didn't say it was easy. Nor did I intend to challenge people's preconceived notions of how the world should operate, and the very tenets of capitalism, apparently.

Perhaps keeping oneself blindly aligned with the powers that be, hoping that the current models of production (and thinking) hold in the new millennium, is safer. But it won't prevent some to go the way of the dinosaurs.
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#11 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 02:41 AM

You can't have it both ways, a truly low-cost camera that takes advantage of economies of scale / mass-production (and probably some manufacturing of parts in countries with low wages for its workers) AND a camera that is so highly efficient in design that it never needs replacing, it just needs its parts replaced by newer parts.

Because that second type of camera tends to be built carefully in low volumes by highly skilled craftsmen, and tends to cost more money to buy, but also tends to work out cheaper to replace just the parts that need replacing.

The first tends to be cheaper to replace in its entirety and accept waste in order to reap the benefits of economies of scale.

I'm not saying that's a good system, I'm just saying that consumers have become spoiled because they don't really pay for the true costs of things anymore, so they expect everything to be cheap, even a 4K digital movie camera.

Yes, I'm sure a camera can be carefully designed and built so that it is more cost-effective to just replace parts as they are upgraded rather than replace the whole unit, but it probably won't be a cheaper mass-produced camera.

If anyone can find away around the laws of economies of scale, then go for it. If anyone can design a piece of high-tech electronics that will never become obsolete, then they should design it rather than just tell everyone else that it should be possible. Because theory is great, but practice is another thing, and so is historical precedent... and I have yet to see something complicated like a digital movie camera -- basically a sensor and a computer -- that could possibly be so well-designed as to never become obsoleted. It hasn't happened yet with laptops or electric cars, so why would it happen with digital movie cameras?

I hate waste too -- I had a cheap coffee maker, cost me $24 dollars, and one day it stopped working. Took it to a repair shop and they said between replacing the heating element and the work to do it, it would cost me about $50. So I went out and bought another $24 coffee maker. But it does make you wonder why a product can be cheaper than the total sum of the costs of its parts, materials, and manufacturing... (not to mention shipping it over from China or whatnot.) On the other hand, if I owned a $200 coffee maker, it would make more sense to spend the $50 to get it fixed.

Again, this whole stink has come about because some people are taking a marketing slogan as literal truth. Does that strike anyone as a way to go through life, believing marketing campaigns without injecting your own common sense?

Personally, I agree - we need new ways of thinking about consumerism and production, to avoid waste. But part of that may be to realize that things should cost more to buy, no matter how painful that is. People used to own clothes and furniture that was more expensive to buy, but they lasted longer. But now we can buy sweaters for $10, a couch for $70, and it all lasts only a few years at the most, and then we buy them all over again. But to suggest that things should be more expensive is to somehow sound anti-democratic and elitist.

Filmmakers are always struggling to find money to pay for things, so they are more than happy to see cheap cameras, lenses, tripods, dollies, lights, whatever they need, and they don't really care that it's being made by people making slave wages in some faraway corner of the world, as long as they get what they want at a bargain.

I'm not suggesting, by the way, that the RED ONE is made on some assembly line in China -- obviously it is put together by a small group of people and they have found some clever ways of getting elements at lower costs. But some aspects must rely on larger scale manufacturing techniques in order to lower costs.

It's bad luck to begin the New Year with an argument, so please don't take anything personally. I'm just trying to find some sort of middle ground here because I don't think it is accurate or fair to suggest what RED is up to as some sort of deliberate consumer rip-off. They have an upgrade policy for the RED ONE that is more generous than their competitors.
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#12 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 03:24 AM

I apologize to anyone I offended with strong words like "idiot" and "moron" -- I wasn't referring to anyone here, it's just my general frustration with people in general who take marketing campaigns too seriously.

Marketing and advertising, by their nature, even when they are not untruthful, are simplistic and distorting, and therefore inaccurate, because their goal is not to be educational and balanced, but to get you excited enough to buy something. They appeal to your emotions.

Hence my natural tendency to get worked up when people start complaining about being misled by an advertisement, because I can never understand why anyone even gives an advertisement much significance compared to the product itself.
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#13 Michael Most

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 11:13 AM

I'm not suggesting, by the way, that the RED ONE is made on some assembly line in China --


It's not.

It's made (largely) in Singapore.
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#14 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 01 January 2009 - 11:34 AM

On the other hand, look at how many years, if not decades, professional betacam equipment was used -- if the quality is high enough for your market, then the fact that higher-quality gear becomes available doesn't mean that what you are using is no longer good enough. In fact, Digital Betacam cameras really didn't take off because so many people had invested in regular Betacams and the quality was great for SD broadcast purposes. So depending on what market you are shooting for, the image from the RED ONE will probably be just fine for most purposes even if you did no upgrading at all.


I suspect it was the need for 16:9 that killed off Betacam SP early in the UK, otherwise it might still be used for some SD work.

I know the BBC were still using 10 year Sony BVW 200s for news work until they were replaced by Betacam SX, this being a long time after newer, better BVW series models had been produced to replace the BVW200.
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