Anything to sell some new cars…
There’s no denying tensions all over the place, both in the US and in many other countries, have been ratcheted up to scary heights. With government-imposed lockdowns, constant fearmongering, and those who seek to divide everyone into warring factions, this is a time for cooler heads to prevail. Unfortunately, where there’s money to be made there are those who will exploit the situation for their gain. And that’s what it looks like Chevrolet is doing in a new marketing push.
Check out Joe Rogan's awesome new truck here.
What Chevy is specifically focusing on is targeting parents of school-aged children. After big portions of the country dealt with the travails of online schooling for the first time, as well as remote work and going out as little as possible at the advice of public health officials, this fall it’s different. These same people who have been cooped up for well over a year are stepping back out into a dangerous world, one which always was filled with dangers, only now parents have been primed to see all the risks in high definition.
The solution Chevrolet pushes is to buy a 2022 Traverse crossover. I wish I were making this up, but it’s all contained in a cringe-inducing press release put out by the automaker recently. It focuses squarely on concerns parents feel about going back to normal life, namely driving on public roads with other people they don’t know if they can trust. Nothing about that has changed in the past two years, so obviously this is a shift in perception, not an actual increase in danger.
Sure, there are people who tailgate, fiddle on their phone instead of watching where they’re going, swerve from one lane to another and then another, cut other drivers off, and in general act like jerks. Instead of helping people adjust to sharing the road with more drivers, some of whom don’t behave well, Chevrolet wants you to buy a new vehicle so you can feel like you’re safer.
In the press release, the many dazzling safety technologies included with the new Traverse are listed out. We know a lot of these already, especially if you’ve driven a newer vehicle lately and beeping has chided you for driving over a lane line without activating the turn signal first. What you might not know is new Chevrolets now come with something called Buckle to Drive. Unless the driver’s seat belt has been buckled up for up to 20 seconds, the vehicle won’t shift out of park. That probably sounds like a great feature to helicopter parents who try managing every aspect of their teenagers’ lives, including choosing their own friends for them, but as some have pointed out it could also be super annoying.
Think about it: if you live on a property that’s sizable at all, you might move vehicles for a short distance without going on the road, traveling at under 5 mph, so you don’t buckle up to do that. Well, Chevrolet thinks it should tell you that isn’t an option anymore. Like the true nanny state it and other automakers apparently really want to be, it includes this safety feature you can’t turn off because you’re not capable of making decisions about your life anymore, at least not these kinds of decisions.
Selling vehicles which force you into greater restrictions by playing off the fears of parents is manipulative. I expect this sort of thing will become more common as marketers realize so many have responded in “favorable” ways to fearmongering over the past two years, and that’s truly sad.