Same old same-old

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Welcome - PAUL POT­TINGER CARS­GUIDE EDI­TOR paul.pot­tinger@news.com.au

WE see a lot of this sort of thing here­abouts: “[Insert brand name here]’s all-new multi pur­pose cross­over ac­tive hy­brid life­style ve­hi­cle is aimed at buy­ers in the 29 to 29.5 years age bracket, a brand con­scious early adopter with $100,000 dis­pos­able in­come and no de­pen­dants ...” Or mi­nor vari­a­tions thereof. The grass on the other side of the fence is sel­dom as green as it seems yet the lot of cer­tain marketeers ap­pears fairly easy. On the ev­i­dence, one need have one idea ever and need never ever be right. None of this grap­pling with the dif­fi­cult Sec­ond Idea, just trot out the one theme, ap­ply lib­er­ally to all ve­hi­cles. Say “cross­over” and “life­style” a great deal. And per­haps “par­a­digm” from time to time. They seem to like that.

What’s this idea,? Isn’t it ob­vi­ous? Youth. What else? There is noth­ing else. Ap­par­ently.

I know this be­cause I have just seen on an auto web­site: “Sleeker 2015 Camry aimed at younger buy­ers.”

Younger than what? The Camry is many things. In its ba­sic hy­brid ver­sion, for ex­am­ple, it is an sen­si­ble and eco­nom­i­cal fam­ily-size sedan with low run­ning costs and high re­li­a­bil­ity (Toy­ota’s pe­ri­od­i­cal at­tempts to break its own re­call records notwith­stand­ing).

The Camry is for “younger buy­ers”, how­ever, in the same way that Fri­day evenings on ABC-TV are for any­one who doesn’t own at least one cardie and whose top tip­ple is weak milky tea with an Ar­row­root biccy, but just one be­cause you don’t want to over­stim­u­late your sys­tem be­fore bed.

I get that cer­tain car people in my line of work at­tend car com­pany events in or­der to eat and can’t buy an al­copop with­out ID. They’re a bit cal­low, in other words. Still it makes me want to punch things, es­pe­cially them, when lines like that above are guile­lessly re­pro­duced.

This prac­tice only en­cour­ages people like the neo­phyte PR who de­manded Cars­guide send some­one “un­der 40” to cover a prod­uct launch. It’s dif­fi­cult to say which is fur­ther de­parted from re­al­ity — this crass re­quest or the ap­par­ently sin­cere be­lief that any­one un­der 80 (or what­ever re­tire­ment age the Trea­surer next hints at) would con­sider the staid lit­tle de­vice in ques­tion.

When Kia’s el­e­vated Soul city car ap­peared, the com­pany — and sub­se­quently the hacks who write down ev­ery­thing — cel­e­brated it as manna for the young and hip.

That it was and continues to be favoured by the old and ar­ti­fi­cial of hip led Kia deftly to change tack so the lat­est ver­sion sells with fewer lurid shades and silly de­cals.

If youth is wasted on the young, try­ing to sell solely to them is an age-old mis­take.

For the ar­ti­fi­cial hip­sters: Kia’s Soul at­tracts a ma­ture crowd

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