Wednesday, July 22, 2009
So I'm on the train this morning, minding my own business, when I happen to look up and notice this staring me in the face:
The text is pretty much impossible to read, so let me help you out: "Introducing our JLTV prototype. Best team. Best vehicle."
I know I've been on the acquisitions train a lot lately, and I'm going pretty hard on industry and all the rest, but seriously: WTF? I hear commercials for different contractors on the radio, and I even saw all the F-22 ads in the New York Times, but this one I don't understand.
The Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV) is a system that's being developed to replace the Humvee as the Army and Marine Corps' standard light truck. I emphasize being developed; the program hasn't been narrowed down to one source yet -- acquisition authorities will eventually choose one prototype for production.
So what we have here is the BAE/Navistar team putting up a poster on public transportation to try to influence a procurement decision. Why? Is some dude going to look up on his ride to the Pentagon (ahem) and think "you know, despite all the thorough and comprehensive analysis of alternatives I see in my day job, that poster looks badass. I'm going with the Valanx!"?
PR is a part of doing business, and it always helps to have the public on your side. But isn't it just a bit cynical to be pitching a developmental prototype to the masses in the hope of gaining momentum from its cool-lookingness in your attempt to win a contract award?