It is the Christmas season again. I can tell because Arbys is running the “5 4 5” special again with the same old commercials.
Another way to tell its Christmas time again is because there are a number of promotions featuring cars with bows on them under rather large trees. They always show someone walking out of the house and they are shocked to see a new car with a giant red bow and then the couple hug or some other TV Land fantasy. The thing is... who buys someone a car for Christmas as a surprise? Really?
There are a number of things wrong with this whole concept.
People that can afford surprise cars are not people I can identify with. Considering that, I am average and I bet most people in the US are in the same boat. People that can afford surprise cars are the bosses of the average person, or in these economic times, my boss’s boss, and who likes that guy? I do not think watching another family get a surprise car for Christmas is going to make me feel good and hopeful, it makes me want to toss a rock at the jerk that is doing better than I am.
Men buying your wife a sweater can be a problem, is it the right size, material, size, color, size, thread count, size or design? Oh and did I mention it might be the wrong size? Buying a car for someone is worse. Like a sweater, a car is a personal thing, especially for Americas who LOVE our cars. If you get her a new crossover vehicle, perfect for picking up the kids or dogs, or picking up the groceries she will filet you for saddling her with these chores and she will grow cold on you as she now knows you see her as only a mother and not your young bride anymore. If you get her something sportier, you become callous jerk, as you have no idea what her real needs are and you never listen to her. Getting her a roomy sedan is not going to work because you just denied her the ability to express herself. Let’s face it, even if you can afford it, buying your wife a car is a no win situation.
Woman you cannot win buying your man a car either. You just took away his manhood by providing for the family without him. No matter who makes more he wants to think he has a large place is providing, and now that is gone. Expect grumpy thanks for your good deed. Alternatively, maybe it isn’t grumpy thanks you get, but questions, like how the sale took place. Did you fight for the best deal? Did you get the biggest engine this model allows? Did you get a good term on the loan? Did you test to see if his golf clubs would fit in to the trunk? Will he look cool and young driving this car? Sorry ladies you just exposed your mans insecurities and yourself to ridicule for excluding him from the hunt.
Then there is all the “Wow, thanks for the car… here are your holiday cuff links. I hope you like them.” Inequity of gifts is a source of guilt and anxiety. No one wins when these feeling surface. Or maybe it’s the “Gee thanks, for buying me a car with my own money… because you do not work”. In addition, there is the ever popular “You spent our retirement/savings/college fund on a new car, and now we have a huge debt surprise.
So are these good commercials to sell us cars? Or just hugely unrealistic wishful thinking on the car companies part?