Sunday, August 18, 2013

Like no car-buying experience I've ever seen

I haven't purchased a car for ten years, but I've gone through the This Is What We've Got, This Is What You Can Afford dance several times in my life, and no current car commercial gels with my memory of the experience.

Instead, the all feature people who run into dealerships practically waving their money and begging salesmen to just lead them to a car, any car, and show them where to sign.  This woman knows exactly what she wants and actually discourages the sales guy to offer any kind of advice or input- any seller's dream customer.  In fact, the car salesmen in these ads aren't salesmen, they are cashiers.  They might as well be standing behind the counter waiting to ring up the customer's choice.

I wonder sometimes what actual car salesmen think of ads like this.  Besides actually being a customer and interacting one-on-one with a few, I've also accompanied parents and friends on car-purchasing excursions, and I have a pretty good idea of what actually goes into the buying and selling of an automobile.  Except for a house, it's the biggest commitment of hard-earned money that most people make.  We know customers don't really act like this- so when car salesmen see their jobs being portrayed as nothing more than valets who exist to hand people keys, how do they take it?

I wonder if their reaction is in any way similar to mine when I see teachers stereotyped in advertisements and television, and they think "jeesh, that's not all there is to my job- it's hard work, dammit!"  Seems likely, doesn't it?


  1. Very likely. I also wonder how they like being portrayed as soulless hucksters instead of the cogs in the machine they really are.

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