The fantasies of car press release writers
WHEN you fail as a novelist you write press releases for automotive companies.
That’s the conclusion I’ve come to after reading another 13-pages of complete hogwash.
Replace the car’s name with ‘Gandalf ’ (mentioned at least once in every sentence), and you have the script for a Harry Potter spinoff.
And like JK Rowling’s famous books, a car press release is usually so far-fetched that it can also be described as fantasy:
‘The new (insert any car name)’s carefully sculpted front is dominated by (insert any brand)’s charismatic ‘solid wing’ appearance, which manifests itself in a broad bar extending across the width of the smoothly curved grille with its unique and individual character’.
What that actually means is that the car looked a bit stupid when they were done with it, so they scratched around in the back of the parts warehouse and found this old box full of chrome strips, and made a plan…
By the time Danielle Steele the Third lifts the bonnet which ‘contributes so much to the new (insert any budget car name)’s planted, powerful look,’ you’re not sure whether you are reading about a cheap hatch or NASA’s new trillion dollar space shuttle.
And it’s here, inside the engine bay, where the press release writer becomes really inventive.
A straight forward, nonturbo 1.5-litre petrol engine becomes a ‘technological masterpiece’ with an ‘intelligent and ground breaking management system’.
Whilst reading, one wonders why the USA doesn’t replace the nuclear reactors in its submarines with this engine because, if the writer got it right, it’s the most superior power source on the planet.
In your dreams
Think I’m exaggerating?
Pick up a brochure at any car dealer and see what I mean.
The best, or worst, I’ve come across was the description of a rather pathetic looking Chinese-made SUV:
‘Bold, glorious lines that trace the world’s most agile animal in action, the cheetah!’
A hippopotamus maybe, but a cheetah, not even in your dreams…
So, next time you read a proper car review, spare a thought for the motoring journalist who had to sift through the heaps of adjectives in order to give the reader the real facts.