In an earlier post, Marketing Volvo at the Auto Show, I mentioned the difficulty some patrons were having with my “Don’t Buy a Volvo…” article at the Cleveland Auto Show. A salesman suggested that I change the format so that people weren’t left with a question. But, after thinking about it for a while, that’s exactly what I wanted to happen. People should be moved to pick up the article and see what it’s about. In fact, veteran English/Literature teacher, Bruce Cline, agreed, offering the following comments:
There are fine literary precedents for your marketing ploy, but they often were lost on audiences that weren’t too smart; I think of Johnathan Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” (audience: British imperialists who were “feeding off of” Ireland’s poverty; suggestion: have Irish mothers breed and sell their children for food and “leather” [gives new meaning to the phrase “kid gloves, huh?]). Another one was called something like “Rules by which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One” by Benjamin Franklin. (audience: British imperialists who were mistreating American colonists; suggestion: keep doing exactly what you are by antagonizing already irate subjects, and your empire will become smaller!) Which leads me to think that eighteenth century British empirialists and 21st century potential Volvo drivers may have something in common…hmmmmm. That’s a little scary!
Thankfully, most Volvo customers are not like the casual visitors at the Cleveland Auto Show. But, if for some reason, you don’t understand a future advertisement … feel free to pick it up and read it. You might learn something.