Celebrities have been endorsing products for decades now and automotive advertising is no exception to this.
Recently, Lincoln started a campaign to market their new MKC using Matthew McConaughey. The actor is as popular as ever after the release of True Detective, which is one of the best shows in a long time in my opinion. In these commercials he doesn’t even talk about the car; all he does is say some deep things that could really relate to anything. The whole point of the commercial is to sell you an idea, a feeling. You get the feeling that you are driving something special since McConaughey says some wise things about going backwards in order to go forward, even though it’s just a nicer Ford Escape. The car hasn’t been out long so we’ll see how this marketing strategy plays out.
Dodge just recently started a similar campaign with “Don’t Touch My Dart” staring Craig Robinson. This is another case where they don’t actually tell you anything about the car. The commercial portrays Craig Robinson and his neighbor that he doesn’t allow to touch his car. Dodge is trying to say that having a Dart is something to be envied and that you should go out an buy one. It is another case where they want to sell you on a feeling, one that you will be envied if you drive a Dart. That’s probably a good thing considering the best engine, a 2.4 liter inline-4, only produces 184 horsepower, which could be better.
Car companies are no longer satisfied with just selling a car because most people don’t care what they drive. These strategies work because people see them repeatedly and they will go out an buy a car just based on a commercial or because some celebrity says that they also drive one. You’re not buying a car, you’re buying the attention of your neighbors and coworkers. A car is now a statement of some aspect of your life, whether it be how much money you have or what you believe in. As much as I hate to say it: it works.