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MAX Update No. 92: Motivating Male Motorists

| 5/15/2012 1:41:28 PM


In case you haven’t noticed, car marketing tends toward irrelevancies. The objective of a car advertisement isn’t to sell you the car — there are professional salespeople for that — it’s to make you aware of the car, and get you thinking about how your life would improve if that car were your own.

When I was growing up, car advertising was pretty dang sexist, but those days are gone. Women are half of today's car market, so of course…wait a minute, there’s one sector of the car market where the message remains unchanged, and that’s the high performance sector. The message is: Buy this hot car, and hot women will seek your company.

"Men talk about women, sports and cars. Women talk about men inside sports cars."

That’s a quote from a Mercedes ad. Mercedes may be right, but in my experience, often women are saying, “What a poser!” when talking about men in sports cars, and that’s when they’re being polite. Mercedes advertisements pitch their regular cars to everybody, but they target guys for their performance cars. The 571 horsepower engine in their SLS AMG gullwing is electronically limited to a top speed of 197 mph, which presumably is fast enough to get you to your next supermodel in time for your next date.

How about Lexus? They produce a wide range of models, including five hybrids, which they promote to women and men alike, but the only ad I’ve seen for their LFA was in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, with a Lexus LFA, Supercar, doing tire-smoking donuts around Rianne Ten Haken, Supermodel.

6/8/2012 7:23:48 PM

testing...testing...Mr. Watson, come here, I need you.

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