Friday, February 14, 2014

What do car manufacturers think of Americans?

In the digital world, this is considered ‘So twelve days ago’, but a new commercial surfaced in my world yesterday and basically bought about another WTF.

Why in the hell are most car manufacturers stuck in neutral?

While a lot of commotion surrounding the Super Bowl ad by Chrysler was whether Bob Dylan has completely sold out, there was a small vocal group who picked up on some of the general context of the ad.

‘In Merica…. we make cool, we build legacies, we’re original and we make cars.”

Then this week, Cadillac reveals a new ad that talks about hard work and creating your own luck, but only after a tirade of how cool America is and how other countries don’t get us.  The ad does distinguish that the stuff is a by-product of the hard work and not the motivation behind it, but it feels like more of an afterthought.

It’s not that I’m not proud to be an American at all. It’s that this  ‘we’re #1” stereotype is being used over and over again by car manufacturers and it seems like they think this is what their target audience is all about.

I had a few friends try to tell me that these cars are for ‘douchebags’, that’s why the commercials are like that.   Since I actually think the new electric Caddy is pretty sweet…I hope not...but I guess most douchebags don’t actually realize they are.  (Insert existential crises here)

Maybe it’s the brand of the car that’s driving the messaging, but one thing is definitely certain. These commercials aren’t being aware of the cultural context surrounding the message.  America has evolved. The people in it aren’t dreaming about the homogenous 2.3 kids, corner office, suburbs, and white picket fence anymore. It’s all over the place. I have friends who crave only to be full-time parents, I have friends that want to build their own businesses, write books, manipulate clay, and write music. I have friends who want to live in other countries, others to be more mindful in their everyday, and others to simply be.

In the end, it’s about the story and there’s more to tell out there.

So although I generalized in the beginning, I’ll end with a car commercial that got it.

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