Luxury car commercials on TV seem to pop up a lot in two venues: tennis tournaments and the month-long buildup to Christmas.
Tennis tournament ads I can understand. Most of those commercials cater to the affluent. Luxury items such as Rolex watches, Jaguar autos and high-end financial planning entities dominate there.
Sure, there are a lot of commercials for non-luxury cars aired during Christmas season as well. The ads that baffle me the most are the ones where a car is given as a Christmas present with a big bow on the top of it. I mean, how often does this really happen? Especially in this age of increasing austerity. And where in the heck do they get those big bows?
But the commercials for the luxury cars are the most baffling. Seriously, how many people in the demographic of any given TV show (NCIS in this case, where I saw this ad last night) can afford a car that probably costs more than $50,000. They also seem to defy logic, but perhaps the pampered rich who can afford those cars do act in ways the rest of us cannot imagine.
Take this current ad for Audi:
If you didn’t click play to watch it, here’s a summation: An obviously affluent older couple is busy with holiday decorations when their son arrives in an Audi. In a brief split second they are both looking out the window when a wide-eyed look of lust begins to form on the father’s face. There’s a cut to their son, Trevor (I gleaned this by the fact the dad was putting up a stocking on the mantle for him) walks in the door with presents in hand. He stops and calls to them, quickly realizing they are not there. He then looks out the window with a look of dismay as he sees them drive off into the snowy eve with his brand new car. His sadness that his parents love the car more than him is magnified by his plaintive wave goodbye.
Text that says, “Make way for a new holiday tradition” appears briefly before the father, in the driver’s seat, exclaims, “He’ll be fine.” The rest of the ad is given up to a traditional shot of stunt drivers in a phalanx of cars weaving down the road.
A new holiday tradition? Are they really advocating that parents should take their children’s new cars out on a joyride without their permission? As I’ve mentioned, these parents are obviously well-off in their expensive little house in the woods. Why don’t they have their own luxury car? I like to think the son will turn away from the window, look sadly at his empty, handmade Christmas stocking from his childhood for a moment before calling the police to report that dangerous carjackers have stolen his new car. Yeah, he’ll be fine after his folks are killed fleeing the police on a snowy, slippery road – thus leaving him their inheritance.
This commercial seemed to disappear for a while, but suddenly I’ve been seeing it even more incessantly morning and night. I would hope that anyone who has considered buying one of these cars has become so disgusted by being bludgeoned with viewings that they would swear off Audi forever.
Have you noticed that after a commercial has been overplayed that it is often edited to shorten it? I suppose they figure that after you’ve seen the same commercial 50 times they can save money by shaving a few seconds since you know it by heart anyway. This ad has a few seconds shaved off, but I think it was to make it less pathetic. The brief scene of the son looking lost and waving sadly through the window has been cut. Not that this makes what the parents did any less cruel.