Cars

Selling Genesis Cars With Deep Purple.

I really like this video telling the story of how Deep Purple came to write their epic hit “Smoke on the Water”. Maybe it’s because it is one of the first songs I learned to play on the guitar. The video has a great look to it and the story is compelling enough to draw you in and keep you engaged until the end. What I don’t get is why the marketing team for Genesis cars thought this would be solid advertising for them. There is no connection between the band, the song, the story or the car. There isn’t even a car in the story, so who thought this was a good way to sell cars? At the end of the video there is the tag line “Inspired by Genesis”. Are they trying to say our cars are so great they are like a casino burning to the ground at the end of a Frank Zappa concert? It just seems like it is the wrong message. This kind of reminds me of Disney using Iggy Pop’s “Lust For Life” to advertise family cruises, or Lee Jeans using Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Senator’s Son” to sell jeans without actually listening to the lyrics in the songs.

Perhaps the marketing department was looking for a long shot and thought if enough people talk about the fact that this makes no sense we will actually move some automobiles. Maybe someone at Genesis is a huge Deep Purple fan.  Great video though. Solid story, great animation, nice look from rom Great Big Story.

 

The Silence of Dogs in Cars, a Photographic Series from Martin Usborne.

I like dogs, and I like cars. What happens when you take a master photographer and turn him loose on dogs and cars? You get a series of extraordinary images of dogs in cars.

Martin Usborne has managed to capture the distinct personalities of dogs waiting for their owners with an incredible artistic eye. Each dogs expression and attitude from excitement or worry to fear are all captured as the canine subjects wait for the owners to return. Usborne has captured 40 photographs in this ongoing series which is currently being shown in London’s Little Black Gallery.  A few of the images are below, the series and the background behind the project are on Usborne’s website.

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Art of the Car Concours. It All About the Details.

This afternoon my friend Tim and I spent a few hours at the Art of the Car Concours on the grounds of the Kansas City Art Institute. The annual event is a scholarship fund raiser for the school, and over the last seven years has grown into a world class automotive event. The two of us spent a hot humid summer afternoon, walking through 100 or so vehicles taking photos, admiring the design styling, engineering, and distinction of the cars shown. At one point both of us commented on how each car, each brand, had unique looks that set it apart from it’s contemporaries.

Both of us remarked that in todays world, most people can’t tell a Nissan from a Honda, from a Volkswagen, from a Chevy, from a Hyundai, from a Kia, from a Ford (although Ford is arguably ahead of the curve in distinctive styling). Aside from a few marquee brands, or higher end autos, most look the same, and no one making a car for the masses puts the attention to detail in things like badging any more. Looking at a 49 Ford coupe, and 66 Covair it made me long for the days when each car brand looked distinct, and the exterior styling was as important as the creature comforts like iPhone connectivity that we lust after today.

Below is a sampling of some of the photos that I took today. Realistically some of these shots are for cars that would cost a small fortune in todays dollars. None the less, the attention to detail, the quality of materials, the small things, are what made these cars part of the golden age of automobile design. Personally I wish the big three, Ford, Chrysler, and Chevy would step up to the plate and bring this kind of styling back. Raise the bar, set a new standard based on vintage design styling that was in many ways simply better. No I don’t want the old school technology. What I want is a car that looks as cool as these, with all the comforts my 2013 model offers me today.

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“Polo Dad”. A Dad, a Car, a Daughter, an Ad.

With Father’s Day right around the corner, Volkswagen UK has released a new TV spot for the Polo. There is no dialog used through out the spot, but the story telling and emotional connection is there. More importantly, the actual product is hardly noticeable until the very end of the spot.

The car is featured through out, but done so in a very subtle way, pushing the focus onto the relationship between the father and daughter. The really nice tie in here is how VW manages to make the connection  between the father figure, the daughter, the car and the brand with the two lines of copy at the end. “Stay in safe hands”, and “Polo, small but tough”.

“Our new TV ad for the Volkswagen Polo shows the evolving relationship of a protective father and his daughter, from the moment he first brings her home from the hospital to the day she finally leaves home, when he hands her the keys to a shiny new Polo — ensuring she “stays in safe hands”.

Ding!

Two years ago when I bought my MINI convertible, I went about three months before someone in the parking garage at work put a two inch long crease in the drivers door. The new 128i lasted just two weeks before someone at work managed to put a half inch long gouge in the paint on the passenger door. I shouldn’t be surprised by any of this. It has happened to every new car I have owned and parked in a lot at work for the last 10 plus years.

The thing that always gets me is, they have to know they did it. You hit someone’s door hard enough to dent it, or take the paint off to the primer, you probably look to see what happened your car, see the damage to the other and say something like “Oh Shit!”

What blows me away is, you work with these people, and even in a company the size of mine you’d think there would be some level of mutual respect for others property. I know, wishful thinking. None the less, since a car on average is 25 grand, you would hope that the person parking next to you would be careful getting in and out of their car. I guess I should be realistic, and take into account the number people that treat their vehicle like a rolling trashcan/filing cabinet. If you don’t respect your own car, you sure as hell won’t respect mine.

Well, here goes $125.00 to KC Colors, to buff out and touch up the paint on my less than one month old car.

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