Merry Vulgarity! Lexus continues its holiday tradition of pretentiousness.
November 26, 2013
No one would ever call me a liberal but nothing makes me veer to the left like those pretentious “December to Remember” commercial from Lexus. Take a look at this latest campaign from the luxury carmaker. It’s surreal in its opulence. Who are these beautiful, severe models that live in a pink castle and have three white 2014 Lexuses (Lexi?) in their moat-like cobblestone driveway? I don’t know anyone who lives like that. And other than a handful of hip hop stars and 21 year-old professional athletes I don’t know anybody who’d even want to. Not really.
If you have this kind of money you don’t advertise it. The super rich have ginormous castles and a shit-ton of cars but other than occasional stories in Vanity Fair we don’t see or hear from them. Putting wealth like this on display is vulgar –to the plain rich, the shrinking middle class and especially the poor. Oh, I get it. This is supposed to be an over-the-top representation of luxury. An aspirational fantasy. Clearly, Lexus is getting mileage from these campaigns or else they wouldn’t produce such fattening holiday bonbons, year after year. But I have to wonder: Are there that many nouveau riche?
Even if. I don’t care. It’s grotesque. I want to punch these people and key their shiny, appropriately white cars. Don’t you?
I’m made sad thinking about the advertiser and its agency and what those meetings must look like. Lexus is the luxury arm of Toyota, a famous Japanese company known for making high-quality, reliable automobiles. Love of expensive whiskey and illegal ivory aside, since when do the Japanese encourage showing off? Do these clients condone and encourage pomposity from their flagship brand? “Make more premium!” I hear the Japanese CEO yell. “Americans love showing off. Show them showing off!”
Do the well off among us even relate to this myth? Do they and/or we aspire to it? If I’m sitting at home watching The Good Wife with my good wife am I going to respond favorably to these commercials? I don’t think so. I am going to go on a rant about vulgarity and wealth and not being caught dead in a Lexus dealership.