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Posts from the "Ad Nauseam" Category

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Ad Nauseam: What “Cash for Clunkers” Hath Wrought

The government's Cash for Clunkers program officially begins today, but car dealers have been running ads like this one for a while already. They have to keep the public informed: Now you can trade in your old car and buy a brand-new SUV or pick-up truck with a hefty assist from Uncle Sam.

Here we have the government spending a billion dollars on about 250,000 vouchers for individual car buyers. Ostensibly, the purpose is to save some jobs and cut some emissions. Meanwhile, we're in the middle of a budget crisis affecting transit agencies serving 22 million Americans. Green jobs and emissions-reducing transportation are on the line. When DOT Secretary LaHood holds his press event on Monday touting the roll-out of Cash for Clunkers, someone should ask him how the Obama administration can justify this dubious car industry subsidy while hanging transit riders out to dry.

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The Opposite of Ad Nauseam: Farrah Fawcett on a Bike

It's been a tumultuous week in more ways than one. We're going to leave it behind with a flashback, via Cycelicious, to the late 1970s, when Farrah Fawcett pedaled to promote her own line of shampoo. What helmet could contain that hair?

We couldn't find video of Ed McMahon or Michael Jackson on a bike -- though Michael did "Ease on Down the Road," of course, and Jonathan Maus busted out the moonwalk at yesterday's Portland tribute ride. If you know of anything else, please share it in the comments.

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Ad Nauseam: Antisocial Thuggery From Pioneer

What's more authentically American than boys suping up their rides and preening about town deafening all within earshot (reducing taxes, you say..)? The Speed Network series Hot Import Nights is the weekly sex-and-horsepower profile of the subculture, and as anyone who saw any of the Fast and the Furious movies in the Bay Area knows, selling these components to gear-heads is brisk business. 

The NY-based NoiseOFF website has compiled a fascinating case against the manufacturers of car audio equipment, much of it drawn directly from product advertising, in which companies use slogans like "Turn it down? I don't think so." and "Be Loud. Be Obnoxious." to market their wares, mostly to young men with a misguided longing for attention and "respect" (I speak from experience here).

For insight into the twisted psychology of boom car ownership, and the perverse ways it is exploited by the car audio industry, get a load of this long-form ad from Pioneer (also featured on NoiseOFF), entitled "Disturb." Think that guy on the block cares that he's rattling windows and setting off car alarms? Hardly. More likely it's his reason for living.

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Campaign Enlists Comedians to Curb Reckless Teen Driving

The Ad Council has some new material in its campaign aimed at teenage drivers. In these spots, a comedic actor (Fred Willard in the ad above) in the backseat of a car with three teens cajoles or threatens the driver into slowing down or minding the road. The gist of the campaign, corresponding with the title of its web site, is "speak up or else" -- a name perhaps more suited to hard-hitting PSAs from overseas.

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UK Campaign Drives Home the Cost of Reckless Driving

Warning: Graphic video

On the heels of New York's Transportation Alternatives report on the human toll of driving too fast, we bring you this highly disturbing ad from the UK Department for Transport's THINK! campaign, showing the difference a few miles-per-hour can make when it comes to avoiding a collision. Ideally material like this (Australia has a similar PSA) would be part of a required curriculum for American drivers -- not to mention police, prosecutors and lawmakers, who all too often seem just as unwilling to draw connections between the act of reckless driving and its consequences.

But we probably shouldn't expect to see this brand of reality TV on US airwaves anytime soon. Instead we get crash test dummy cartoons and spots like this new Acura commercial -- motorist-centric, sanitized and disconnected from the grim truth of auto-inflicted violence.

In the same vein, though cast in a more suburban context, is this equally disturbing Irish ad, offering a real-world antidote to ubiquitous car-maker "Just you and the open road" propaganda.

Video: anacarol80/YouTube