Truth Versus Advertising: "Cars With Bows On Them" Ads Must Die

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

We’ve been a bit critical of Honda’s advertising recently, and though I’m not a big fan of most of the latest David Puddy (OK, OK, Patrick Warburton) spots, I have to give it up for this one. I’ve wondered about the “cars with bows” ad meme for some time now, and though it was estimated that some 50,000+ vehicles were given as gifts last holiday season, I really can’t wait for the ad theme to die. We all love surprise gifts (especially expensive ones), but shouldn’t the person who will actually be driving the car have some say in what they get? I mean, I’d be grateful if someone bought me a new Lexus RX (a chief perpetrator of this ad meme) out of the blue… but mostly in the “it’s the thought that counts” way. Want to surprise someone with something expensive? Buy them jewelry or a watch. Want to buy someone a car? Make sure you really know exactly what car the giftee wants, and for goodness sake, make sure they drive it and the competition first. Surprises last a few seconds, the right car will delight for years to come.

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  • Jeoff Jeoff on Dec 01, 2011

    The new infiniti ads are even worse. Take-home message: BMW drivers ar jerks, but Infiniti drivers are biggger jerks, buy our cars.

  • Astigmatism Astigmatism on Dec 01, 2011

    What I can't understand is that the cars the Lexus ads show people buying as presents are inevitably the lower-end Lexi. I'm not going to judge them as cars (I drive a used Acura), but I feel like the people who can afford to pay cash for a new Lexus and park it in the driveway of their zillion-dollar modernist home with a bow on it could probably afford something nicer than a junior executive starter car.

    • See 3 previous
    • Paul Paul on Dec 01, 2011

      @Paul If you buy someone a sweater and they don't like it, oh well. You buy someone a car and they don't like it... well look at other responses in this thread. If you give a vehicle as an agreed upon gift that is one thing (a vehicle the buyer and receiver agree on) and was implied as not included in my statement.

  • Banker43 Banker43 on Dec 01, 2011

    Ed, I had to smile at your suggestion to "buy them jewelry or a watch". I am almost as nutty about watches as I am about cars. Maybe this just means that it can be pretty hard to pick out a gift for an enthusiast, be it cars, watches, scotch or better know what they like!

  • Jellodyne Jellodyne on Dec 01, 2011

    OH! And can someone explain the latest Audi ads? 40 something son comes home in Audi. Parents, apparently more excited to see his car than him, somehow steal it in about 10 seconds. Dad, professional Alan Alda lookalike, to wife: "He'll be fine" Seriously, WTF? Are Audi's that easy to steal? Is it supposed to be a parody of kids coming home for Christmas and only wanting to go out with friends? The house looks nice enough that the parents could afford to buy one of their own and spend some time with their child as well. I just can't figure out what they're trying to say.