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May 27, 2011

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If you REALLY want an example of creepy anthropomorphism in car marketing, the worst has to be the 2006 Jaguar model which was touted as being inspired by Kate Winslet's body. Projection much?

Ralph Gilles, Senior VP of Design at Chrysler Group and head of the Dodge brand, has said that the Viper sports car will be revived for model year 2013, and that it was inspired by "a naked woman on the beach." He didn't specify which woman or which beach.

It seems to me that the expression "comfortable in one's own skin" has been long established in its figurative meaning (i.e. not necessarily concerned with the body itself) to mean "self-confidently graceful in manner". So it doesn't seem a stretch to me, or to be unusually anthropomorphic, to apply this to a car with excellent performance. What I find more troubling (though not unexpected) about the ad is that this phrase is applied not to a car but to a concept, "luxury": there seems to be a note of defensiveness in the ad, as if it were saying that people who enjoy luxury (i.e. spending an excessive amount of money for a little extra comfort and a lot of extra ego-stroking) should not be embarrassed by this. But of course they probably should be.

I'm so glad you posted this. I was looking for examples of ads that could be improved (via emotional appeal, tension/release, imagery) and this was the first ad I opened up to in the 7/25/11 issue of Time. The headline is really lacking, and doesn't play well with the images. Just looks like another car print ad that would make me immediately flip the page, if I wasn't studying ads today at work.

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