31 January 2008

Til debt do us part

At Chancery Lane tube station, there is a large cross-track poster for CarGiant, a "car supermarket", that tells the heart-rending story of Chris, with a close up of Chris looking vexed. Poor Chris's missus wants him to buy a family car. But Chris doesn't want to blow his savings. So Chris goes to CarGiant, buys a great set of wheels for a low price. Now picture Chris looking very pleased with himself. So far, so ordinary.

But the payoff for CarGiant's cheeky-chappie ad is the final line - where we we learn Chris uses the money he has saved to take his girlfriend to Paris, nudge nudge, wink wink. Or "tweet tweet", as the rather bizarre copy style of the ad puts it.

It's a brave marketing move to clearly identify your market segment so confidently - not just young men who want a good deal on cars, but who also proudly commit adultery. One of the keys to successful advertising is, once you have identifed your customer, to project a selling proposition back to that customer whereby he has an affinity with the product because it shows him as he likes to see himself, not as he necessarily is in reality. So, for example, the demographic for sherry drinkers is OAPs, but you'll never see an ad for Harvey's Bristol Cream featuring an old person; they may be old, but they don't want to identify with a product that defines them that way.

So when I see the CarGiant ad campaign, I wonder who the target audience is that would identify with Chris as a figure to aspire to. What sort of relationship would you be in to dream of being Chris with a new car to pay for hilarious philandering? Maybe they could extend the campaign - Chris could also put those savings to good use on alimony payments when his wife finds the hotel bill in Chris's jeans.

17 comments:

PW said...

My follow up would take us to Paris. Chris encourages his girlfriend to take a pleasant morning stroll along the Seine. He gets on his mobile and discovers he's made a great saving on second runabout motor. Within minutes, he's on the eau de cologne to a local escort agency and has called in a couple of good-time girls from the Moulin Rouge.

MJ Hibbett said...

I see this incredible advert every morning, and have to stare to make sure it's real. Could it be that the target audience for flashy used cars is... well, wankers?

DHB said...

I just saw this ad on the Tube today. I work in advertising and I'm appalled by it - and I'm genuinely a pretty easy going lass who very rarely has a sense of humour failure. I'd like to know if any of the senior management at CarGiant are female. I'm sure they'd be proud. I'm going to go out of my way to persuade people never to shop there. Grrr.

Sarah said...

I'm so glad someone else has blogged about this! Doesn't he look like a smug twat! "tweet tweet" is in reference to the "little bird" who gave him the tip.

I cannot believe something so degrading to women is on public display like that.

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