August 04, 2006

Are the Hummer Folks Clueless?

The folks at Hummer have been running a television commercial in which a mom is with her young son at the playground, and another kid cuts in front of the son at the slide. When the mom objects and politely says that her son was first, the aggressive kid's mom says "well now my kid is first." Then the first mom trades in her minivan for a Hummer, and is seen smiling behind the wheel before the slogan "Get Your Girl On" appears. The implication is that, by buying a Hummer, the mom can become as rude and aggressive as the mom who wronged her in the playground. Apparently, the Hummer-driving mom will be the queen of the road, refusing to let anyone cut her off or even merge into her lane. She will win every road rage battle.

Ladies, does this commercial appeal to you? Does it make you feel that, if you buy a Hummer and become this rude and aggressive, you'll feel powerful and happy? To me, this is a condescending and ultimately destructive message. Is it a successful one? You tell me. Hummer is made by General Motors.


At 11:05 AM, Blogger Margaret/Ecological Hope said...

This commercial makes me very sad indeed -- more depressed than angry. This message is so wrong for the times in which we live. How is it possible that the Hummer company thinks it appropriate to market a vehicle based on emotions of powerlessness, revenge, feeling empowered through the use of a gas-guzzling symbol of machismo, a war machine as was the Hummer's origins?

And then imagine the message to the children viewing it.

Hummer has sunk to the lowest to try to sell an excess of vehicles that almost nobody wants anymore.

Crass, stupid, insulting, dangerous -- all of that.


At 9:06 AM, Blogger Matt said...

You're right, it's even worse than I thought. Isn't this exactly why people buy guns?

At 11:50 AM, Anonymous Aileen said...

I must admit, I too had several strong reactions to this ad.

My first response was to look at it as a business person- I was shocked and confused that they were spending money targeting the "minivan mom" demographic. Complete mis-match of prodect with consumer! Doesn't seem plausible that young mothers would start trading in their minivans for a hummer!

Then it offended me that they even thought young moms (or anyone) would react favorably to this. Do they really feel young moms harbor such hidden feelings of revenge and need for bullying? Were they trying to evoke a negative response?

Finally, it occurred to me that they were simply trying to appeal to the same set of people they were always targeting. It made some sense that they thought that "their demographic" would think that their crude attempt at humor was funny, bold, and edgy.

Very insulting and disheartening.

At 2:48 PM, Blogger Matt said...

Thanks Aileen. Maybe you're right, and they are wisely chasing a demographic they have already identified, and their research indicates that this demo will respond either to the edgy humor or the vigilante commando message. If so, what does that say about where we have all ended up?

At 8:09 AM, Blogger Margaret/Ecological Hope said...

One last comment from me: it does say something pretty scary about where 'some' of us have ended up. But sales of Hummers are down, and already production is being stopped on the biggest version, the H1, which gets 10 mpg.

I would be curious to see market reports on the impact of this ad. Perhaps a last gasp for a vehicle that never had a good reason to be on our roads.

So while some of has have ended up in this place, many, many others are headed somewhere else.


At 9:04 AM, Blogger Matt said...

Yes, we're headed somewhere else, in a Prius!


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