I bought a new car not too long ago. Don’t get the wrong impression; I’m not the kind of high-rolling blog writer who can afford to go out and buy a new car whenever I’m not playing squash or taking European vacations. In fact, this was the first new car I’ve bought in about 20 years.
I took the time to shop around for a while to find the car which best suited me. I did lean toward the more luxurious side of the middle of the road, largely because by the time another 20 years ticks by, my main mode of transportation will likely be a Hoveround scooter or a hearse.
During the shopping process, Madison Avenue got in my head and played with my brain.
I looked at the Acura TL. At the time, their ad campaign featured famous athletes like Calvin “Megatron” Johnson of the Detroit Lions and Olympic free-style skier Ashleigh McIvor being transformed from raw, powerful physical specimens into elegant, refined versions of themselves. The message is simple; beneath the sophisticated exterior of this car, beats the heart of an elite performer.
Besides the simplicity of the message, the ad agency had the good sense to use the athletes for their bodies and personae only, leaving the spoken words for voice-over professionals.
Lincoln ads had an appeal as well. They featured actor John Slattery, who plays the silver-haired Roger Sterling on AMC’s show about 1950’s/60’s Madison Avenue, “Mad Men“. As a fan of the show, it’s fun for me to see “Roger” – especially in a commercial. From a casting standpoint, he’s a clever choice. Even people who’ve never seen Mad Men will perceive Roger, as I prefer to call him, as a man who’s arrived. A guy who knows what he wants. Fans of Mad Men will also see a successful man, albeit the vodka-before-lunch, womanizing, advertising mogul sort.
One look at Roger Sterling behind the wheel of that Lincoln and you just know that there are ample cup holders and reclining seats. I have to admit, on some level I pictured myself driving home from The 21 Club with Mad Men sexpot Christina Hendricks draped across the passenger seat beside me.
Perhaps it was my fear of having explain the busty, redheaded passenger to my wife, or maybe it was the test drives, but I went with the Acura TL.
I’ve been very happy with the car so far. There is only one qualm really.
Recently, Acura has begun showing a new series of commercials, wherein unsuspecting characters are taken for thrilling rides in Acura vehicles, driven by the likes of loudmouth Dr. Phil and financial guru Suze Orman. While I’m sure Acura’s ad agency has a good rationale for this new direction, it sticks in my craw to be driving a brand which has aligned itself with these two. My gut reaction when seeing Dr. Phil and Suze is one of revulsion. I’m not really a fan of either one of them, and on top of that, they each have “the connection” – whether it’s deserved or not, I perceive them both as darlings of one of my least favorite people, one Oprah Winfrey.
I realize that many of my blog readers, particularly females, may take exception to my dislike of Oprah. Sorry ladies, I just do. I don’t dislike her because she’s a woman or because she’s black. Nor do I dislike her because she loses more money in the cushions of the sofa at her beach house than I make in a year. I just dislike her because I do. I can’t explain it. I imagine that it’s akin to the dislike a dog may have for a strange houseguest. No matter how much affection the host shows the guest or how nice the guest may try to be, the dog just knows, on some visceral level, that the person is not to be trusted. Given half a chance, the pooch will nip at them, or if possible, take a dump in one of their shoes. If Oprah ever comes to my house, she damn-well better leave those stinky Jimmy Choo’s on her feet.
Ironically, it’s thanks to the brainstorming of some modern day Roger Sterlings that my beautiful, newish car has been disassociated from Megatron and tied instead to two of Oprah’s lackeys! I’d be less upset if the Acura TL was named the official car of the Free Jerry Sanduskie movement.
I’m wondering if the trade-in value is high enough to allow me to put myself in the seat of a new Lincoln.