Motor Trend Urinates on the Heads of Its Readers, Tells Them It's Raining Apple Cars
“Motor Trend,” TTAC alum and occasional minor-event organizer Brock Yates once declared, “is for people who move their lips when they read.” Were Yates still with us, he’d likely be somewhat less than surprised at the breakneck pace with which MT is attempting to transform itself into a YouTube video first and a magazine-for-morons second. It’s a sound business model; why limit your content to the even vaguely literate when you can break the shackles of the written word entirely and deliver extended advertorials to the lowest possible common denominator?
Of course, it would be both crass and impolite for us to imply that Motor Trend thinks its consumers are complete idiots who will eagerly place their lips on the corporate cloaca of “TEN: The Enthusiast Network” and eagerly lap up whatever poorly digested material is splattered into their open mouths.
It would also be unnecessary, because — as of last night — Motor Trend has made that point for us.
This Tweet was part of a larger, thoroughly deceptive social-media campaign launched by MT yesterday. Several “spy shots” of a thoroughly generic-looking pod with a glowing Apple logo were tweeted and shared elsewhere:
It was patently obvious to most of us that Motor Trend was not going to reveal any sort of Apple Car whatsoever. The first clue: Most of the tweets ended with a question mark, which implies Betteridge’s Law, and the hashtag was always not The second clue was the car itself, which looked like a rejected prop from the Star Wars Holiday Special.
The folks at HybridCars quoted a commenter who said, “After tweets like that, if they don’t unveil an apple car – no one will take them seriously in the future.” Let’s take a moment to make some headlines of our own.
Will Anyone Take Motor Trend Seriously In The Future?
Is Anyone Taking Them Seriously Now?
Did The New Camaro Really Tell The New Mustang To STEP OUTSIDE?
Can The New Camaro Talk Somehow?
If It Can Talk, Is It Speaking A Language That Only Very Stupid People Can Understand?
At this point, it’s worth noting that Motor Trend’s language and behavior in its social-media campaign was more or less identical to what actual car magazines do when they are trying to shield themselves from spy-photo liability.
What do I mean by that? Well, here’s a typical example: Chris Doane or Brenda Priddy or another photographer snaps a new Acura MDX testing in Ohio. They know it’s the new MDX, because they’ve been tipped-off by a Honda employee. And when they see it driving down Route 33 outside Marysville, they can clearly tell that it’s the proper size and proportions to be an MDX. So they shoot it and then sell it to media outlets who title it: Is This The New MDX? Everybody knows perfectly well that it’s the new MDX; the question mark is there to offer a bit of legal coverage in case Honda gets frisky.
Therefore, even though MT’s Tweets appeared to be the work of some very stupid people and the “spy shots” themselves looked like they’d been stolen from an ad for the University Of Phoenix, it was probably reasonable for people to expect some sort of Apple Car news this morning. Instead, they got this:
At first glance, it appears to be a public-access television show dealing with chronic constipation, but it’s actually a 28 minute and 59 second video of people sitting around a table talking about a car that some of them made up. I have to admit that I just scanned through it briefly because after the third time MT’s Ed Loh faced the camera and croaked out his lines while flapping his hands and grimacing like his colon was under alien attack, I actually started to feel my soul attempting to flee my body. I did catch a few seconds featuring some very exciting video footage of an exotic new car; it turned out to be B-roll for the Tesla Model 3.
The video, which does not feature one thousand dollars’ worth of men’s clothing despite there being six or possibly seven participants at the roundtable, ends with Mr. Loh making a very scary lip-smacking noise before telling you to subscribe to MT‘s YouTube Channel. He doesn’t appear to suggest that you read the magazine itself; not even the rag’s own Editor-In-Chief can do that with a straight face. There’s no telling what news stories MT will feature next, but I have some possible ideas:
Is This The SR-72 Successor To The Famous Blackbird, Or Is It A Model Plane That We Made With Legos?
Is This The Apple Car For Real This Time?
Will The Next Mustang, In Its Turn, As Sure As The Stars Will Cross The Sky, Tell The New Camaro To Step Outside?
Where Are The Snowdens Of Yesteryear?
Are You Really Stupid Enough To Keep Reading, Or Watching?
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"This apple juice is terrible!" "Alright, which one of you jokers switched my urine sample?!"
I was a subscriber of MT back in the early '70s, and even then it was pretty lame. The "In Retrospect" articles on classic cars were about the only worthwhile thing, so after a couple of years I moved on to C/D and R&T.