Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hummer -- At Least They're Honest

I don't drive a Hummer, and I don't expect I'll ever buy one. But I must admit, I've long been a fan of their advertising. Several of their television commercials have been dialogue-free 60-second cinematic stories that I have found smart and engaging.

By far my favorite is "Happy Jack." The style and camera work makes it seem like it could be a Wes Anderson sequel.

Not quite as good, but still compelling, is "Goldilocks."

But recently, things have taken an odd turn. Like a trailing candidate pulling out the negative advertising as the election approaches, the recent Hummer ads, while stylistically similar to their predecessors, have taken on a blunt, dark tone. Perhaps $3/gallon gas affected their marketing planning a few months ago.

One ad (a copy of which I cannot find online) has a young mother buying a Hummer to compensate for not having stood up to an aggressive mom at the playground. (Can anyone point out an online copy?)

But even stranger is the new "Astronomer" ad. A pencil-necked scientist rushes to trade in his puny electric car for a customized Hummer, once he calculates that an approaching asteroid will destroy the earth in 77 hours.

"We're not saying, we're just saying." Just saying what? The only conclusion I can draw is that they are admitting we all know Hummers are damaging to the environment. But even a gentle, conscientious, data-driven scientist would go buy one, if our actions had no consequences. I am open to any other interpretations anyone would like to suggest.

But perhaps there is good news coming. With the recent drop in gas prices, consumers are once again showing strong interest in gas guzzlers, according to a recent report. So perhaps Hummer can soon return to witty brand-building, and we'll all be rewarded with high-quality TV in addition to the current few options.


At 11/09/2006 11:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What if the last one (pencil-necked scientist) was made completely unaware of Hummer's environmental implications -- just a "life is short, live it up" reminder message?

At 11/13/2006 8:04 AM, Blogger Justin Label said...

You have a very generous and optimistic outlook. I appreciate that.

At 4/03/2007 7:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can find the wimpy-mom-on-playground-gets-Hummer-and-rules ad on the Hummer Mexico site, as "DeslĂ­zate hacia un H3." The titles are in Spanish but the ad plays en Inglese. Here's the full URL:


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