Sunday, September 9, 2012

RE: MS WRITE NOW (Humor) Nom de Automobile

Nom de Automobile

No doubt about it, the automobile industry has been hard hit what with changing times, tastes, and economic conditions.  But no one talks about the most tragic consequences they’ve suffered as a result of the reorganization of their industry and who really lost out in the aftermath.

Marketing and advertising professionals.  It is clear these folks and their departments have been abolished altogether because there appears to be no thought process whatsoever to the naming of cars.  

In fact, now they’re not even trying. 

Where in the past powerful names like the Silverado were rolled out invoking images of mystical faraway lands, tripping off the tongue smoothly, creating images linked to the American Dream, now we’ve got names that simply trip and spawn word association games.  Such is the case with the Versa which causes me to shout, “Visa!” spurring me into a consistent kneejerk reaction when one chugs on by.  (As an aside, when logging trucks steam their way down the highway next to me I am also compelled to screech, “Save the forest!”)

How about Viatra?  Does anyone else see a problem with a vehicle model that you cannot help to easily read as VIAGRA?  It just makes me wonder how the downside of that particular appellation could have not been discussed at the Suzuki plant? 

Maybe I’m missing the marketing approach that targets an audience of forty-to-fifty-something-males who might want to drive a Chevy tough truck, but feel they need the Viatra?

My car model sports the somewhat plebeian name of Civic although I affectionately call it, “the hydroplane” because of its crazy ability to four-wheel itself up onto a teaspoonful of water and surf it for miles. 

For me every bit of text I see, read, or hear in the world is ripe for a game of word association.  It’s the kind of word association that were I to be utilizing the services of a psychiatrist would, no doubt, buy her many fabulous houses in many equally fabulous countries.

But car names just beg for engagement in wordplay and this has led to the creation of my very own in-car pursuit I like to call, “Vehicular Fill in the blank.”  (I’m still working on that name because it doesn’t feel all that marketable.) I’m a woman of purpose who does a fair amount of traveling, so I’ve got the time and opportunity for this sort of thing.

Some days I have to dig deep when faced with these opportunities such as in the case of when: 

a)     I’m behind a car trying to keep myself from freaking out because the sedan passed me going like a bat out of hell, cut in front of me just as the light was turning yellow and then slammed on their brakes. 
b)     I’m behind this same automobile trying to keep myself from freaking out because I am being subjected to a bumper sticker that is so offensive it’s all I can do not to scream, “Ahhhhhhhh!  I drink coffee, a woman is responsible for your existence and I like diversity!” as I let my foot off the brake to accentuate my negative opinion of their negative opinion by bumping the aforementioned bumper sticker.

To prevent myself from reacting to scenarios such as a) and b) above I engage in the creation of tag lines such as these some of which are almost useable.  That’s how I keep my marketing chops fresh and my driving record clean:

Real Car Model Name         My Idea for Their New Tag Line
The Element                           You’ve always wanted to feel “in your element” and now you are,  wherever you are!
Viatra                                      The car with the best staying power on the market.
Versa                                      Versa-Visa – either way this is the car for you.
Paseo                                     Que Paseo?  The friendly, bilingual car.
Esteem                                   Feel good about yourself and your car.
Escort                                     We’ll go with you wherever you want to go, as many
times as you want, for one reasonable price.  No questions asked!
Charade                                 Give up the pretense in your life.
Aspire                                     For the goal-oriented driver.
Pacer                                      Take your time…you’ll get there.                            
Mentor                                   The car that helps you every mile of the way.
Mirage                                   That budget for a new car wasn’t just an illusion.
Citation                                  Our cars only go up to 65, so you’re safe.
Dart                                        The car with targeted get up and go.
Fit                                           Get fit without working out!