Oct 9th, 2008
When I watch TV, I am surprised at how many car commercials there are. I am also surprised how little the ad says about the car. The voice-over usually says something like, “Awaken the beast within.”
I suspect those companies are trying to sell the viewer an identity. It is the saddest sort of scam, because you can’t buy your identity and a new car is a really expensive way to say, “Beast Inside!”
If I made a car commercial, it would say something like “It is a four-door car with decent gas mileage. It is really reliable and did quite well in the crash tests. It is less expensive than similar cars made by other companies. And it comes in yellow!”
Some people think that because my name is on a book they bought, that I drive a Maserati. Actually, I drive an eleven-year old Toyota Camry. (We also have an aging minivan, but Michele drives that most days.) Here is a photo I took of my ride today:
Some of you probably have expensive cars that you love. I could not be more happy for you.
But times are tight. Maybe some of the young people out there are thinking about buying a car they can’t really afford. Maybe the car payments will keep them from doing something they really want to do. To those people, I’d like to point out that many cool people are quite happy driving crappy cars.
I started Big Nerd Ranch with a car-sized check, and I’ve noticed something: A nice car and a decent adventure often cost about the same amount. Few people can afford both.