Monday, September 12, 2005

Virility Symbols

Some time ago (~ 1 year) there was an advert on television, showing a balding middle aged man polishing the hood of his little sports car, and text-over saying "virility symbol?" - they then cut to a picture of an "all-american" type loading kids into a minivan, and the fade-away showed "real virility symbol" - the ad of course was for the minivan (and, no, I don't drive a minivan, though I admit to having come close to the breaking point a couple of times).

Never saw that ad again, either am not hitting the right demographic TV shows (I can hope, the the number of TIAA-CREF ads I see suggest otherwise), or it cut just a bit too close to the bone.

There are of course a bunch of little sports cars, mostly dysfunctional, which are marketed directly at the older men in severe mid-life crisis (with a side market in young trustafarians with low sense of self-preservation). Fair enough. But the car makers usually have the sense not to show their hand.

Current (Sep issue) Wired has an ad for the "Dodge Viper SRT-10" (which I, strangely, remember being a panel member for a pre-production preview version at an LA Auto Show, and disliking intensely). The ad, in some misplaced sense of post-modern humour, cuts the crap, and shows the self-image of the intended customer (gnarly old man decorated with money symbols, groping a young blonde in a wedding dress, with the car in the background). Ok, kinda cute that they acknowledge the irony.

But, why would anyone ever buy one of those ever again?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think you forgot about immature, 20-somethings speed-freaks, like myself ;-)

3:41 PM  
Blogger Steinn said...

Them too - but the number of those with $100k to drop on a two seater is probably not enough to be a viable business model...

I think the old farts pretending to be 20-something-speedfreaks are really your base, its just rude to forcibly remind them of this.

But, at least I remembered the ad. Score one for Dodge.

4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have no clue why anyone would buy one but I am sure that Wired is not aiming at the "standard" demographic. They are aiming at the 30-something wanna-be hipster who has lots of cash (and are no doubt buying up iPod Nanos by the pallet load).

By the by, you have mispelled Keith Arnaud's last name in your blogger list. The idea of an XSPEC log is just awesome.

6:56 PM  

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