Wednesday, July 11, 2007

The =Ultimate= Driving Machine

Does anybody else get a queasy feeling in their stomachs when you see those old TV cigarette adverts: an overly macho man offering an overly flirtatious female a white stick of death... The advert always stress the social interaction and not the ash fag-ends etc. And of course, not what =ultimately= would happen to the man or woman in 20 years time: the coughing, cancer and slow lingering deaths.

I am starting to get the same feeling with car adverts... yes, they do look nice. Very cute too. Happy Kids driving cars; people dancing in the streets; hey even cars spinning around acrobat style. Click that link and see that cute advert with kids driving an SUV again and think: those kids may never actually be able to drive that SUV. Ever. Even if we do overt the very worst excesses of the world's economy's dependence on oil, the price of oil is a one way bet: it is going to rise and driving in an SUV in say 10 years time will seem like Nero fiddling while Rome burns!

Meanwhile we hand out models of the Hummer H1 SUVs with MacDonalds. I feel queasy again: it feels just like giving kids sweet cigarettes to me. Who does that any more?

Consider: BMW's slogan "The =Ultimate= Driving Machine". They might be right. After the oil runs dry, imagine some post-civilization scenario, somewhere in Saudi Arabia, a goat-herder drives the last working vehicle over the desert. Yep, it could be a BMW.

1 comment:

paris parfait said...

Wise words! I don't get the SUV in the city bit - who needs an SUV in the city - something like a Smart car would make more sense, in terms of space, parking ease and gas mileage. But the best thing about living in a city is being able to take public transportation. Sadly, it isn't widely available in the US, other than in big cities. I know people who wouldn't dream of taking public transport; they think it's the right of everyone to drive their car. Margaret Thatcher had this same notion, which resulted in the trains and train tracks in Britain being in a terrible state of disrepair, without enough money to properly fund the system. All these years later, they're still trying to repair the damage her philosophy caused. As for the Hummer toys, it's irresponsible of McDonald's. They say they're trying to be more environmentally conscious in their transport trucks, etc. - they should start with the products they promote to children. Thanks for this excellent post and for your comments on my piece today.