Since it began publishing four years ago, DUB magazine has become one of the best-read titles addressing urban automotive lifestyles.
It also has created a brand that offers products and services ranging from customized vehicles and wheels to die-cast toy cars to celebrity auto shows. In this Q&A interview, DUB President Myles Kovacs, 31, discusses the urban automotive market.
How do you define the urban market?
``It's youth culture, whether you listen to Hip Hop, rock or any kind of contemporary music, and you like a certain style in cars and fashion. It's a mindset. The urban market is very aspirational.''
What are some of the biggest challenges auto makers face in the urban market?
``A lot of automotive manufacturers are afraid to deal with the urban market because they don't understand it. They rely heavily on marketing companies to relay the messages on what's cool. And sometimes the auto makers are a lot cooler than their agencies, and they send mixed messages. A lot of time they are building relevant cars, but they don't have relevant ads.''
What makes automotive ads ineffective?
``You'll see (auto makers) using things like break dancing, barbed wire and graffiti in campaigns, and that's not really urban anymore. There are style elements of a vehicle that give it an urban feel. You don't need to put blacks, Hispanics or Asian people in the ad. Let the car speak for itself.''
What should auto makers be taking into consideration?
``The auto makers need to look at the aspirational element of their products. A lot of it is based on product perception. The (Chrysler) 300C is a classic example. It's a $30,000 car that gives you a $50,000-car feel.''
How do you see the urban automotive market changing over the next couple of years?
``I don't see it being as gaudy as it's been over the past 10 years. The market is actually going preppy. The urban automotive market is going to move toward one where you can be urban and drive into Bel Air (Calif.) and not stand out. It's moving toward a classier look and feel.''
How will DUB adjust to those changes?
``We've always showcased certain lifestyles. We've kind of molded with what's going on in the youth culture, and we've always focused on the lifestyles of the rich and famous. You have to move with the market.''