Here in Southern California, radio spots for cars take obnoxiousness to an art form. It doesn’t matter the make–BMW, Lexus, Mercedes Benz–there’s always a golden-throated announcer eager to tell you what a loser your are for not owning one.
There is one marketing campaign, however, I find particularly vile, and that is the campaign for the Mercedes Benz CLS, or, as they call it, the world’s first “four-door coupe.” Why is this so vile? Because there can be no such thing as a four-door coupe. A coupe, by definition, has two doors. If it has four doors, it’s a sedan. It can be a sport sedan, but it’s still a sedan. There is a special place in hell for marketers who screw with the language like this.
You may be wondering why I get so riled up over a stupid commercial for an overpriced metal transportation box. It’s because messing with the meanings of words has serious consequences. That’s how totalitarian regimes consolidate their power. The start redefining things. It’s not “genocide.” It’s “special handling” or “ethnic clensing.” The ad copy might as well read, “The Mercedes Benz CLS–it’s doubleplusgood!”