Important Notice

Special captions are available for the humor-impaired.


Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Selling Smug

During the Outdoor Life Network television coverage of the Tour de France they run this commercial for an SUV. It’s a real leviathan that gets 11mpg in the city; a Bhopal with four doors, an Exxon Valdes with all-wheel drive, an automotive Chernobyl. The commercial shows two yuppie soccer moms leaving the store. Both are carrying two big bags of groceries. I’m guessing inside the bags are bottles of Perrier, Portobello mushrooms, and expensive cabernet.

It is raining cats and dogs and both soccer moms are getting a bit wet. One soccer mom hits her car remote and the tailgate on her gas guzzling pig of an SUV pops open and the soccer mom is saved. The other soccer mom dies a horrible death in the rain because she doesn’t have a gas guzzling pig with an automatic tailgate. As she drives out of the parking lot the soccer mom with the life-saving automatic tailgate runs over the lifeless corpse of the soccer mom who has succumbed to the fatal rain storm. The suspension is so smooth that the victorious soccer mom doesn’t even spill her martini as she glides over the body. I only saw the ad once so maybe I am getting some of the details muddled but I think that I got most of it right.

The point of this commercial is that if you buy their SUV with the automatic tailgate your life will be greatly improved. Of course, you could have just bought a $5 umbrella but where’s the fun in that? Is it possible to show your superiority with an inexpensive umbrella? No, for that you need a $40,000 SUV that gets 11mpg city. I’m surprised that they don’t make bullet-proof SUV’s and show an ad of a soccer mom being chased by gun-wielding Muslims.

Lots of advertising is nausea-inducing but I get a big kick out of the way in which luxury items are hawked in our media. Johnnie Walker sells its scotch with a print ad showing a cocktail napkin with a simple business idea sketched on it in pen. The ad states, “A simple idea can change the world.” Message here: get shit-faced on our booze and make a bundle.

An ad for Rolex watches features author Peter Benchley and some other yutz claiming they are saving sharks from extinction and they are doing it with $18,000 gold watches. Why not try opting for a $20 Casio and sending the $17,980 you saved to Greenpeace and let them save the whales?

Another print ad shows a 50’ish rich turd standing on his pool deck watering the lawn as he peruses the newspaper. The ad asks, “Invest so you can retire or is it the other way around?” I have no fucking idea what that means so your guess is better than mine. Maybe it means that through investing you, too, can be fat and white some day.

A while back I was sitting in a café with a woman I know when a new Chevy Avalanche SUV drove past spewing emissions. This SUV has all sorts of rubber sidewalls to protect it from the harsh elements soccer moms are likely to encounter at the mall. My friend commented that it looked like a piece of Tupperware. I doubt this is the macho image that Chevy had in mind.

The print ad for the Avalanche goes like this: The Avalanche can handle everything you’ll need on your next journey. I’ve never taken a "journey" before but this ad assumes that whoever buys this over-powered piece of Tupperware has already taken at least one journey and plans another as soon as they sign over their life to own this ridiculous vehicle. How I envy these intrepid journey-takers.

Another one of my favorite print ads is for a Land Rover. The Land Rover is seen through the window of a yuppie restaurant. It is parked out on the street in front and is slightly dirty. The ads states, “You don’t park it. You rest it.” ‘You’ is the key word here. You, you big adventure seeking tough-guy. Inside the restaurant is empty save for a woman seated at a table with her back to us. We would assume that her companion for this sexy, late afternoon tryst is none other than you. You, with all of your natural hair and I’ll bet you have a really large penis; you do have a Land Rover, after all. Who else would be able to tame this beast of an automobile? I’m not gay but men like you make me wonder about myself.

Back when I was in high school I referred to anything that I couldn’t afford as ‘bourgeois’ but I have grown up some since then. If you want to blow your money on worthless crap that’s your business, you don’t need to rationalize it to me. Just don’t kid yourself into thinking that merely buying something is gong to turn you into someone heroic. Remember a few things, folks. Booze doesn’t make you smarter or get you laid. An SUV won’t turn you into a modern day Captain Cook or protect you from the big bad world. Only drug dealers buy Rolex watches, everyone else buys the knock offs. Questions after the break.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you can't say something nice, say it here.