I’ve always been fascinated by car adverts. I’m not your typical car-buying customer though – I can’t drive and I’m 100% car blind – but this is perhaps why the ads have such a strange allure. They’re alien, exotic; like billboards in a foreign country. I try and work out the hook – what pulls the strings of a person about to buy a car? For many years it’s been those old advertising stalwarts: status and sex. Encase yourself in a desirably sleek new metal machine! coos the ad. Then, about a decade ago, Honda brought in the concept of the “dream”, the car as a religious experience. More recently though, they’re targeting other things. What do 30+ men want most in the world now? This is an ad from yesterday’s London Time Out:
“Best Dad in the World? You will be with the new Fiat 500L Trekking. Arm your kids with the perfect playground verbal ammunition when you scoop them and their mates up… Dad 1. The Rest 0. End of.”
This confuses me, the childless car buying virgin. Do fathers want their kids to be jerks? Or is it, they want them to be the best jerk? Either way, I’ll walk thanks.