Why Car Advertising & Marketing is Bullshit

Buying a car is unpleasant. Not because of the car. It’s unpleasant because you have to swim through so much bullshit to get from your old car to your new one. It’s thicker than treacle, and not nearly as nice on toast.

There are about 300 different new cars you can buy, from around 60 different carmakers. Every carmaker can give you a dozen - or more - reasons why every one of their cars is not just excellent, but the best. That’s both logically absurd, and the central thesis of all car advertising. It makes choosing the right car very difficult, because you’re swimming against a tsunami of shit. Here in Australia every year, Toyota pours about $75 million into that big fat tidal wave of advertising spin. Hyundai, Holden and Volkswagen each tip in about $50 million more. Honda, Kia and Mitsubishi - about $30 million apiece. BMW, Chrysler and Ford: they’re in the $20-something million-dollar ballpark, with Suzuki, Subaru and Mercedes-Benz in the teens. You can’t shovel used, non-sequential $50 notes that fast from a shipping container. Not even with a backhoe.

If you’re signing on the dotted line at the dealership today, you’re paying for all that advertising. Here in Australia - one of the most competitive car markets on earth - the advertising spend per car for average cars is between about $400 and $1400. For a prestige car like a BMW, it’s almost $2 grand. That’s a fair bit, just to reach out and touch you. Maybe ‘violate’ is a better word. And it does seem perverse to be the one paying for the violation, doesn’t it? As the violated recipient, I’d rather be the one getting paid. Maybe that’s just me.

Before we get into this next bit: I have to thank the late and, undisputedly great comedic genius George Carlin, for this concept. It’s all his. All I did was adapt it to the automotive domain. And it fits so brilliantly. He called it ‘Advertising Lullaby’. Here goes:

Quality, value, style, prestige. Comfort, luxury, exclusivity. Vision, passion, drive, commitment. Refinement, safety, protection. Grip, speed, roadholding, precision. Space, capability, practicality. Freedom, features, lifestyle. Peak efficiency, outstanding economy, class-leading emissions, unparalleled performance, advanced technology, iconic design and unequalled green credentials.

So, go better. Get serious. Next challenge, please. Change the way you move. Turn heads. Change minds. It’s the ultimate one of a kind, driven by great expectations. Do some smarter thinking. Proceed with purpose. Drive a masterpiece of motion, with the strength of serenity. This changes everything. It’s more fun than ever before. Experience the magic - luxury in motion. Unconform yourself, and get more jet; less set. Reclaim your personal space in the City, with a dash of verve. It’s designed to impress. That’s clever … and reassuringly solid. It’s the all-new way to love the way you move. 4 those who want it all, you, too, can be king of the Ring. It’s a win-win, with the ultimate search engine. Seek feeling, open doors and realise everyone travels first class at the pinnacle of refined capability. It’s true. They do. That’s what I heard. Amazing - what an industrial-strength dose of outrageously high-priced hyperbole.

But wait: there’s more. Dunno about you, but I feel an air of anticipation. This is new thinking. New possibilities. It’s designed to inspire. Are you ready? Get peace of mind. Look no further. Stop the search. We’re turning luxury inside-out. It says ‘you’. Are you in? Go somewhere you’d rather be. Are you in?  This is heart racing. Power personified. We’ll give you more to work with. Drive it, love it, feel it. It’s a new grade of upgrade. Excite your drive with a family-proof, spacious sanctuary. The new original is one of a kind. Pretend no more. Discover pure power is all that matters. Above it all, orchestrated engineering. And, for those who want it all, what a relief: you can have it all. You can. But where would you put it? Have you ever felt more bombarded by meaningless marketing spin? Just saying it makes me feel dirty.

Of course, there are a few minor caveats (trivial details really): This offer is available at participating dealers only. For a limited time. While stocks last. So don’t wait. Act now. Personal shoppers only. Terms and conditions do apply. To approved purchasers only. Actual fuel economy may vary. Not all colours are available. Overseas model shown. All driving done under controlled conditions - do not attempt this yourself. Always drive responsibly. All sales are final. Some restrictions may apply. No rainchecks. Maximum recommended driveaway price inclusive of government fees and charges and recommended dealer delivery fee. Of course, prices may vary. Excludes government and rental buyers. We reserve the right to vary, extend or withdraw this offer, at our sole discretion. Accessories cannot be redeemed for cash. Credit criteria, terms, conditions, fees and charges apply. Not transferrable. Comparison rate may vary. Seek independent tax and/or financial advice where appropriate. This offer is valid only in states where it’s legal - except, of course, in the Northern Territory.

So, with that housekeeping out of the way, come on in. It’s time for a change. There’s absolutely no pressure. No fuss. No risk. No obligation. No red tape. No hidden charges. No purchase necessary. We’d just like to get to know you a little better. No cash? No worries. We’ve got free servicing. And 10 years free roadside assistance. And a free premium, limited edition, deluxe, embossed and machine stitched genuine Du Pont Nylon family essentials keyring - this month only, while stocks last. It's just our way of saying thank you. We’ve got free parking, and a free children’s play area. So drop in any time for an obligation-free test drive. Remember, we’re here to help you.

Let us make you a free espresso, on us, while you kick back and relax in our exclusive platinum preferred premium customer lounge. It’s just our way of saying thank you. Our friendly, knowledgeable, expert, professional, diligent customer support team will leave no stone un-turned to work out an unbeatable deal on one of our outstanding, class-leading, new premium, luxurious, efficient and elegant new vehicles that’s not only just right for you, it’ll be just right for your budget. Remember, we’re here to help you.

We’ve got zero per cent finance with no deposit, $2000 factory cash back, a $1500 EFTPOS card, $1000 free fuel, free servicing for three years, a free hand-style automated car wash, and no repayments until 2018. Buy this month and we'll give you a minimum $2000 trade-in on any car, no matter what the condition. And we’ll slash 50 per cent off all paint, fabric and rust protection, plus we’ll throw in an extra two years’ warranty, and a full set of plush-pile, deluxe, premium, European designed, genuine look front seat mats - absolutely free. That’s all on us. It’s just our way of saying ‘thank you’.

And, hey, don’t forget to claim your free gift: a classic, deluxe, European-designed man-made leatherette, carbon fibre-look, personally monogrammed, premium, five-star, limited-edition, alcantara and man-made-leather, imitation valve-cap holder with digital clock, USB and 256 megabytes of flash memory. No purchase necessary: Just drop by - it’s yours for the asking, absolutely free, no obligation, while stocks last. For a limited time only. Remember: We’re here to help you. We just want to get to know you a little better. It’s just our small way of saying thank you.

Actually, it’s the car industry's way of saying: Drop your pants, idiot, and bend over. Because, we're about to commence docking procedures. Expect some discomfort. You’re not getting any lubricant, because you’re not really worth it, and you're certainly not getting a reach-around. Forget about that. You’re a client now, not a prospect. We're going to stick that big, fat, black, three-phase vacuum cleaner as far as we can up your bank account, and we're gunna suck until the walls cave in, basically. Because that’s the business we’re in. It’s just our small way of getting to know you a little better.

Y’know, some people - obviously not you, but some people - erroneously believe the car industry's core business is the manufacture and sale of motor vehicles. And, while it is true that a percentage of people in the industry are engaged from time to time, doing just that, it’s truer that this vehicle-building caper is a kind of sideshow. A decoy. What the car industry is actually engaged in - to a man - person - whatever - is reaĺly the manufacture, processing, quality control, packaging, importing, exporting, global distribution, dissemination, gift-wrapping and personal delivery of a tsunami of weapons-grade bullshit to you, the car buyer. It’s just their way of saying ‘thank you’.

Of course, this is fundamentally why buying a new car is just not fun. It should be, but it's not. Parking a new car in your garage - that’s awesome. But buying that car really sucks. It’s like sucking a golf ball through 50 metres of the best Nylex garden hose, the unkinkable stuff. It sucks at that deep-down, visceral, intimately personal, violating level because every new car - from the cheapest to the most exclusive - comes wrapped in a dozen protective layers of bullshit. Laminated, carbon-fibre reinforced, case-hardened, shot-peened and vacuum-impregnated, high-priced bullshit. Enough to choke a dozen hyenas. You can see it from space. It's too big to jump over, and it always leaves a bad taste in your mouth. It’s just the car industry’s way of saying ‘thank you’.

Of course, if you want to cut through all that bullshit, and save thousands off your next new car, contact me via the website - AutoExpert.com.au. You’ll get the best price and you won’t have to jump into that big, brown river with a car salesman. Don't forget to like this video (if you liked it). Leave a comment below and subscribe for regular updates.

[I'm henceforth forever in George Carlin’s debt, for his outstanding work. What an unmitigated genius of social commentary.]

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