Have y'all seen this totally vomitous Lexus "December to Remember" ad yet? The ad that's basically like, "Hey -- remember how the reason of the season is to make other people seethe with jealousy over your wretched material excess? Now go buy a Lexus and relive those good times!"
Compare and contrast that with Subaru, which is blanketing the primetime airwaves with ads touting its Share the Love Event: if you buy a Subaru before January 2, 2009, the company will make a donation to one of five charities: the ASPCA, the Boys and Girls Club of America, Habitat for Humanity, Meals on Wheels or National Wildlife Foundation. See? You can purchase a new car and share the love with your fellow man!
It's a genius campaign, because it makes the would-be buyer feel good about their purchase. So there's a recession on? You're giving to the needy even while you drive away in a new car!
Both Lexus and Subaru have rolled out commercials that are designed to appeal to very precise consumer segments. And this makes me wonder: do we really catch the pitches from these companies? When you choose the cars you drive, do you take the brands' public profiles into account? Do you feel some auto brands better reflect your values?