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Hummers and Attitude

August 17, 2006

Ann Althouse links to Slate’s review of the new Hummer commercials. I actually like these commercials a lot. I’ve been itching to buy an H3 since before they came out.

SUVs for Hippies?

Toned-down tag line or not, I can’t believe this is an effective way to sell Hummers. I imagine current Hummer owners are already tired of fending off accusations that their vehicle is meant to make up for other shortcomings. Do they really want this notion propagated by Hummer itself? Won’t this ad sour them on the company and lead them to buy a different truck next time? And what prospective buyer will be swayed by an ad that explicitly suggests this truck’s purpose is to compensate for inadequacies?

I want this car...

My take is that people like me who want to buy a Hummer don’t really care what other people think about their purchase. Americans buy stuff that other people see all the time and that stuff they buy is part of an individual’s personal style. People do buy this kind of vehicle for the power behind them. The idea that others might see a Hummer owner as more powerful because of the car driven is just a little nudge.

I would contrast this idea with those "Lowest Ego Emissions" ads from Volkswagen. The Volkswagens in the ads are pretty basic cars, so how do you make people feel better about buying one? You tell them that people who buy more expensive cars do so because of low self esteem. (Of course, this leads to what I’m sure is a very high smug emission level.) I think that the ad reviewer may be buying in to that idea. 🙂

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  1. Saurabh
    September 9, 2006 at 5:02 am

    well…hummer no doubt is an excellent vehicle..with an attitude… in india ..i guess we have only handfull of these…

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