Thursday, November 2

Lovin These Jax Car Ads

I'm not in the market to purchase a car, but I am intrigued by a few of the local car commercials in the Jacksonville area. I think the ads are funny for different reasons, but I wonder how effective they are.

I don't even know what kind of cars the first dealership I saw on TV sells. All I know is that the woman who sells the cars is Peppermint Patty. Maybe new cars, maybe used cars. Domestic or foreign. I don't remember. I just wonder if that's her given name or some kind of nickname that has nothing to do with selling cars. And do her friends and customers call her Peppermint? Perhaps it's not Peanuts Patty and is Pattie, like the York treat? I don't know, but she sells cars.

The next ad I saw was for a BMW dealership. Definitely real customers being interviewed. I assume the ad agency didn't have to tell people to be as smug as possible, since that's a natural result of owning a BMW.  No doubt, people who already own BMWs or are considering one don't have any problem with seemingly normal folks gloating about their cars. One man tells us how hard he works and how he deserves the best. A woman relates how her Mercedes did not compare to her BMW. You wonder whether these folks fawn over themselves or their cars more. Having owned two Mercedes Benzes, a SAAB, a Fiat, a Merkur, and several domestic offerings, including a Lincoln (and driven BMWs) I can tell you that there's nothing that special about a BMW beyond the fact that BMW owners believe the self-aggrandizement (a potential model name for the manufacturer). Even though the commercial seems like it would be ruinous, I have to admit that it impresses its target audience, is memorable, and functions well as a critique of our society.

The newest car commercials on the scene seem like a throwback to 1980s loud and obnoxious car dealership commercials. A large man tells us about restaurants and vacation offers. I think the dealership sells Nissans, but it really sells the people's desire to live like the BMW owners while purchasing a cheaper version of that car. The catch-phrase is that "It's huge!" And in one ad, the big guy even does a mic drop when he says it. He talks a lo about class and style, but it's not the cars themselves that give us those things (like the BMWs, it seems). Rather, being treated like a boss because we buy whatever car this guy throws in front of us will make us feel like we just bought a German luxury car, and it all comes free with purchase.

Of course, it's true that people, especially in a city where they have to drive everywhere, want to feel like their cars or pickups are legit. Our vehicles define us, and we're going to shop for cars with that in mind. I don't know who has the best deal in new or used cars in Jax, but I do like the commercials here.

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