The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Automotive News

Kia, the Korean automaker whose business strategy seems to be to make unattractive cars, copied badly from other companies' models, and sell them to people who frankly don't care what they drive, has announced a major push to increase share in the US.

"We’re going to do everything in our power to gain market share,” said Tom Loveless, Kia Motors America executive vice president of sales ...

"Everything in their power" seems to involve dancing hamsters.  Really.  It appears to be a savage swipe at the Spiderman musical or perhaps a condemnation of the pretensions of the Enlightenment, a parody of recent Heineken spots, perhaps -- a car commercial, not so much. There was a time when ad agencies got fired for this kind of nonsense.

As everyone knows, there are only two ways to sell cars in America, and both involve reproduction.  You sell to men by building vehicles and marketing campaigns that promise increased masculinity and reproductive success (viz, the Dodge Ram, which is manifestly inferior to its competitors from Ford and GM, but has a cooler name.)  You sell to women by promising that their precious offspring will be safely encased in a battle cruiser of airbags, crush zones, reliability, weatherproofing, and cup holders, while the little darlings are kept in a trance-like state by a constant flow of moronic digital entertainment.

Somehow, I have trouble fitting dancing hamsters into either of these messages.

Ok, I just watched it again, and I'm even more baffled.  Is the whole dancing and costumery thing supposed to represent hip, minority youth?  If so, notice that all the humans are pasty, pancake-makeup white, and the dancing creatures are ... hamsters.  Domesticated rats.  Is the message, "Hey, kids!  You know you're just vermin in the eyes of the grownups, so act like it! Buy a Kia!"

And while we're deconstructing, what segment of the American market is all ga-ga over hamsters?  I don't think urban yoof have very good feelings about rodents in general.  Soccer moms? Nope, that doesn't seem to resonate.  I'm just not getting it.