Whilst we’ve talked about the sheer amount of money that is spent each year marketing cars to people, not to mention the realities those ads tend to gloss over, the ads themselves are often designed to sell a lifestyle or to prey on our insecurities.
I recently came across a couple of spoof ads that had me in stitches, but they really do shine a light on some of the blatant techniques manufacturers use to trap you in a perpetual debt cycle. But first, let’s have a laugh.
Serious Man Car
There’s also the 4×4 Edition:
Both of these ads feature BMW quite heavily. The company spent $296 million dollars on advertising in the USA alone back in 2018, which will no doubt have included developing a generous helping of psychological and emotional techniques to get us to sign up for another lease.
The automobile industry is one of the main product categories that rely on sex appeal in their ads. This trend began in the 20th century when the competition started growing. This is why you could see ads that showed quite a disturbing image of women.A brief history of car advertising – ALTERED STEEL
The car is the second biggest demonstration of our “success” in this world, besides a house of course. What better way to show to our neighbours that we’ve “made it” and are “successful”. The trouble is, the reality is often very different.
In Thomas Stanley’s book The Millionaire Next Door, after studying America’s wealthy over a long period of time Stanley found that whilst those with the fancy car and big house may look rich, it was often the unassuming household with the seven year old Honda and modest home that was actually wealthy. They certainly aren’t spending £400 a month on a new BMW.
He found that it was those with average incomes and the inclination to live within their means over a long period of time were the ones who became genuinely wealthy.
However, we shouldn’t be too surprised. Marketers are not our friends and they are not out for what is best for us. They want to sell us the latest shiny thing in order to earn their keep and will try every trick in the book to do it.
This includes appealing to our basic insecurities about where we stand in the pecking order of life, even though nobody really cares what you own. To borrow a quote from Batman, ‘it’s what you do that defines you’.