I thought I was a bit more wit’ it when it came to modern vocabulary—quite happy to repeat phrases from Bro’ Town, calling things dope, and using other phrases as if to say, à la Dr Evil, ‘I’m hip. I’m with it.’
I was going to avoid dealing with personal relationships on this blog, but since the cat is out of the bag that yours truly is “between girlfriends” thanks to TV One (cheers Barry), some aspects of being back on the dating scene in 2006 need to be noted.
Seeing is the term used when you are courting but not doing the horizontal tango with the lady. Apparently, dating and going out have now become tainted with sex, according to my interns.
Other terms have remained constant, however. The metric system has not yet inﬁltrated the mile high club in favour of the 1·6 km high club; so that is, at least, one scintilla of dialogue that can remain in Snakes on a Plane (there is such a scene. Or at least there is now).
But in a small place, there is always the danger two chaps go for the same girl. Or you can be a chap like me and go for two girls. Or both can happen. And it did.
The good news is that Girl No. 2 was also pursued by a friend of mine, thankfully of the same generation as me. In other words, we spoke the same language, and did so today. I discussed with him how serious he was, and if he was, then I would take Girl No. 2 off my radar. Juggling two (well, three) is probably enough for one chap. And the same-generation-speak was clear enough: ‘Let’s say we are exploring some options.’ Which means dinner, but ﬁrmly seeing. Though he is hopeful.
Now you may wonder what this is doing on a business blog. Simple.
One is that even ﬁve or ten years will make a huge difference in convention (so just imagine being frozen for 30 years. Throw me a frickin’ bone here). What may be plain to today’s young people—the internet, blogs, an ability to detect Madison Avenue BS—needs to be taken in to account.
Today I surfed into the Nissan Versa site, for a new model about to be launched in the US. (In Australia and New Zealand, Kim Cattrall ﬂogs the car, badged the Nissan Tiida, which is the same name it has in Japan. The Yanks got the more sensible name, though in both cases the goodwill of old names has been ﬂushed down the toilet.) Yes, the site had all the bells and whistles: Flash, a 360-degree model of the car, images which showed the bad interior—but there was one thing that seemed out of place. The copy.
Nissan tells me that the Versa has ‘Jewel-like faceted headlights / Distinctive, multi-reﬂector halogen headlights light up the road in style.’ But since these lights are de rigueur on so many cars now, this is basically telling me the car has lights. I am sure the NHTSA is happy.
Continuing this, the car has ‘Sculpted exterior bodylines / Uniquely expressive exterior lines look good while creating more space inside.’ Translation: it has a waistline.
The only one on that frame I thought was acceptable (only just) was the hype around the ‘streamlined’ taillights.
I could have been in a Burger King looking at the 1950s ads they have mounted in the restaurants down here, and will have read about similar non-innovations from Ford, Studebaker and Oldsmobile. I am just not sure that young people, or indeed, people my age (hey, I’m still young) go for this sort of marketing-speak. In an age of Toyota Priuses and 1,001 bhp Bugattis, I need to hear that there is some innovation. Trumped-up ways of saying a car has lights don’t work.
The Versa is one of the cheaper cars from Nissan and will probably be its cheapest when it goes on sale Stateside (US$12,000). Maybe this is to make budget buyers feel special, able to talk about jewelled headlights (which I had on my Corgi cars in the 1970s) to shame a neighbour who has bought a Hyundai Excel. But to me, it really seems like the ad agencies have not caught up with the 2000s.
The second point is a dialogue always solves problems. Talking about something as delicate as liking the same girl will defuse so many tense moments on The OC. (Mischa, why don’t you come back and stay at the Avalon? You’re a nice neighbour to have.) I wonder how many of these real “issues” are issues at all.
In business, I’ve seen countless dramas that have plagued a company for a day, even mine. I would wake up and hear about some crisis in New York. And I would call. Problem over in ﬁve to ten minutes.
These only get out of hand because people choose for them to be out of hand. I don’t know whether it is to give them a sense of self-importance over who can have the biggest crisis. But neuroses like that get to me. Either solve it or don’t, but don’t inﬂate it.
I am happy to tell people I have a drama-free life, free of romantic hassles, because I just speak plainly. I don’t see much pride in saying that I have a drama-laden life where some broad is seeing my friend behind my back.
It’s also a matter of practicality. In today’s busier life, I prefer moving on with things. And hyperbole and dramatization make life a little too busy when we should be simplifying everything.
Thus it is life for the young person today, who may well have dramas in their lives—and don’t want any more added to them courtesy of advertising agencies. Your dramas add to their dramas.
First rule of branding: differentiation. So, differentiate by simplicity.
So, Nissan, when the Versa comes out, just say you are selling a car. You are making x dollars per unit. It’s the best price you can give consumers. And that if you want the young buyers to care, tell them that none of the components were made in sweatshops.
Still, I suppose telling people that a car has jewelled headlights is better than Kim Cattrall telling us that she has been getting orgasms driving a car that is a ‘lot bigger’ than she thought.
Well, you can in a Nissan. Posted by Jack Yan, 06:47
Pssst Jack, I think the term "broad" is... uh.. passe :)
I still use it … though I may be the only one …! Well, me and Ed Asner anyway.
The principal problem is the prettiest professional broads usually move to Auckland. Damn, you are lucky.
Oh, Dan, I should mention that I am seeing these girls. I do have my reputation!
I take definition 1 over definition 4.
So the BOOYAH stands!
At least I remember Ed Asner...does that mean I'm getting on? :)
wow ok so where can I get one of those bigger cars? just joking hehe
Dan, I have heard it with deﬁnition (4) but I will take (1), too!
Niti: thank you for your kind wishes! Ah, we could always argue that we are ‘wit’ it’ because I believe old Lou Grant himself still does the occasional voiceover for cartoonsm and if we weren’t young, we wouldn’t know that.
Amy: an automotive form of ‘I’ll have what she’s having’! The Tiida is available at Nissan dealers now, but I would not recommend it. It’s basically a stretched Renault Clio trying to compete in the Renault Mégane class, which I think is not wise. Go for either a new Holden Astra, even if they do put the indicator stalk on the wrong side compared with the Opel; or, my pick of the bunch in this class, the Ford Focus.
I knew someone had posted a similarly themed entry recently. Here it is: at Own Your Brand.
'Tiida' looks like a word that was generated by a computer. I keep wanting to pronounce it as 'tilde.'
as for the advert itself..."yawn." I'm sure they can do better than this.
Thanks, David! The ads are a bit lame and you are probably right that Tiida was a computer-generated name. Personally I reckon they should have stuck with Pulsar or Almera for this car—why ﬂush 25 years of history down the toilet and wind up like Oldsmobile did?
I think those were Australian commercials. Greatest respect to our Australian friends, but on the whole the creative ideas tend to make it on to the screens more readily in New Zealand. (And before the Australians get upset, I should note that we get bombarded with ‘Ah, McCain, you’ve done it again!’ and it is driving us bloody mental.)
BTW, David, is the punctuation on this blog coming out right on your Mac?
Yes, it appears to be OK on the latest versions of Safari and Firefox.
And, in a similar vein about 'lack of imagination,' there is apparently an advert running on TV in Oz for BMW's 3 that uses the same music as the latest Mitsubishi advert running here. Link: http://blogs.smh.com.au/business/
Thanks for letting me know, David. Will check out the link later, but a similar thing was raised here when I met with the local ANZ manager, who is a Brit. Both countries had a ‘The bank that likes to say yes’ campaign, for unrelated banks.
Also, if you get a chance, trace the ‘Still the One’ TV jingle. It began with ABC-TV in the States in the ’70s, went to Sky UK in the ’80s, and you may remember it for TV2 in New Zealand, but called ‘Share the Best with Channel 2’.
Thanks for bringing in clarity to the dating vocabulary! I had no idea had evolved beyond dinner, but then I always got bored in dates anyhow. I suppose I might right about this one of these days somewhere.
When will they -I mean, we- call a horse a horse?
Thanks for the Nissan bit! I like the mix of subjects joined by the social commentary.
Thank you so much, Dannie! I’m still getting to grips with these terms because dating was so innocent when I was growing up watching Happy Days.Post a Comment
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