Tag Archives: car

Mindless Marketing Monikers: Limited & Unlimited

Jeep Wrangler Sahara UNLIMITED

Jeep Wrangler Sahara UNLIMITED (honest, but stupid)

Perhaps I am not your average consumer, having spent most of my career as a marketing professional, but certain product names elicit a wry smirk from me.  The words “Limited” and “Unlimited” are two such examples.  I was reminded of this recently when I parked my car, looked out the window, and saw a Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited parked beside me (see photo).  As an aside, I believe there is a point where the name of the product gets way too long.  Here, we have Make/Model/Version followed by the aforementioned senseless “Unlimited”.  While “Limited” and “Unlimited” are both hollow and meaningless names, “Unlimited” is clearly the dumber of the two.  If you buy something that is “Limited” and you are naive enough to believe that companies will not make as many as they can possibly sell, you might feel that you are one of the chosen few who get to experience the pleasure of owning one.  Exclusivity is coveted by many consumers.  However, if you buy something with “Unlimited” emblazoned on its visible brand signature, you are basically saying that your product is so commonplace and easy to attain that any dolt can get one.  Implicit, as well, is that you are one of those dolts.  Congratulations.

One for the Road, Or Not

2011 Buick Regal

Love at First Sight is Foolish Love (Image lifted from Buick.com.)

A car enthusiast I am not, but I do have an appreciation for exceptional styling and engineering.  I can usually name the make and model of any car from some distance.  Further, I am keenly aware of a car’s personality–the undeniable and unique expression a car makes about the person driving the car.  For most of us, a car is the second biggest purchase we make in life, and its ability to define us is surpassed perhaps only by clothing, which has the distinct and unfair advantage of staying on our bodies all day long.  Enough setup.  So, I have been noticing a sharp new model on the roads of late–sleek, modern, and aggressive with the bouquet and youthful energy of Beaujolais Nouveau, but the complexity, sophistication, and depth of character found in a fine Napa Cabernet.  Let’s say it has overtones of BMW and Audi, with a nod to Lexus and perhaps a wink to Bugatti.  Yes, Bugatti.  Today, I got to see one up close.  A BUICK REGAL!  Kudos for the design, but at the end of the day, it’s an inferior product of a failed company resuscitated briefly by the federal government.  A glass of two-buck Chuck or Boone’s Farm anybody?

Missing Hubcaps: A Badge of Dishonor

Missing Hubcap

Sorry for the explicit photo. Used to make a point.

Every so often, we all see one of those cars with a missing hubcap or two (or, in flagrant cases, all four).  This the car equivalent of walking around with your fly down, a booger hanging out of your nose, or your butt crack showing.  It’s not a pleasant sight, and we better people either look away or start thinking things about the transgressor’s family that are generally stereotypes, but nonetheless make us feel superior for having all four of OUR hubcaps.  Then there are those of us who don’t even need hubcaps.  We have shiny, oh-so-fancy, alloy wheels.  It’s hard to be humble with alloy wheels, but most of us can remember the days when we owned cars with hubcaps and ate ramen noodles.  We know it is difficult to find one replacement hubcap to match the rest, and replacing all four can be costly, especially when a person is unemployed, divorced, still living with his parents, or spending his government checks on lottery tickets, cigarettes, and pork rinds.  Finding a job is not easy when a person cannot shave, comb his hair, or brush his teeth.  And who would hire an ugly guy with three hubcaps anyway?