Same old same-old
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