Car ads that try to appeal to the desire for social status are nothing new, but here’s one that just gets it wrong: GM is trying to convince college students that driving a Buick is hipper than riding a fixie.
Nice try, GM. Unfortunately for you, college kids aren’t falling for it. People between the ages of 20 and 40 are driving way less today than people that age drove just 10 years ago.
So, in this picture, who would be the one smiling and who would be the one hiding her face? In the deliciously sarcastic words of Andy Clarke at the League of American Bicyclists:
If you are a student looking to add tens of thousands of dollars of long term debt, care little about the environment, and want to lump two tons of steel around campus while paying through the nose for insurance, gas, and parking… General Motors has got a perfect deal for you. Bonus: it’ll make you fat and unhealthy! All you have to do is give up that dorky bicycle that’s easy to use, practically free, gets you some exercise and is actually fun to ride.
The ad is so wildly off the mark that the League is mostly poking fun at GM’s misperception of the collegiate idea of Cool — but for good measure, they’ve got an action alert in case you want to tell GM just how out of touch its marketing department has become.