FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Are You a Speed Freak?

by RUSSELL MOKHIBER And ROBERT WEISSMAN

Are you a speed freak?

That’s what Daimler Chrysler
wants to know.

Everything about their current
campaign pushing the new Dodge Charger is about speed and power.

We learned about this campaign
last week. We picked up USA Today, and out dropped a glossy 23-inch-by-21-inch
color poster.

On one side is a picture of
the Charger SRT8. 425 horsepower. 6.1 Liter SRT Hemi V8 engine.
420 lb-ft of torque. 0 to 60 mph in the low 5 seconds. (The low
5 seconds?)

“Grab Life by the Horns,”
it said at the top.

Then in bigger letters at the
bottom: “Get Your Adrenaline Out of Neutral.”

Flip over the glossy ad, and
there is a picture of Charger R/T in red.

And the question, emblazoned
in red: “Are you a speed freak?

The ad encourages you to go
to .

So, we went there.

And clicked on “power
freak.” There is an animation of a Charger R/T ripping through
some road barriers and fencing.

We then clicked on “speed
freak.” To the music of the Soledad Brothers, (Break Em
On Down), we learn that the car is “wickedly fast — a sleek
fastback silhouette slips through the wind as pure, unadulterated
speed crescendos from one adrenaline rush to the next.”

Back to the glossy ad that
dropped out of USA Today.

Also, in large letters is the
following: “Remember, Speed Limits Are Laws, Not Suggestions.”

We reached Suraya Da Sante,
a corporate spokeswoman, at Daimler’s home office in Detroit.

“The ad campaign is not
necessarily about speed per se,” she says. “It’s more
about unleashing your desires.”

What about the 0 to 60 mph
in the low 5 seconds?

“We certainly don’t want
to encourage someone to do that on 0 to 60 on a residential street
or even a highway,” she says. “If you want to do that,
there are racing tracks around where you can take the car.”

Racing tracks?

“Yes, there are places
where you can take your car to race,” Da Sante says.

The whole ad campaign is about
power and speed. Why insult our intelligence and say, “Remember,
Speed Limits Are Laws, Not Suggestions?”

Well, it’s never appropriate
to break the law — laws are there to protect us, she says.

Da Sante says she isn’t sure
whether Daimler’s legal department required that they put that
statement in the ad.

She says that the demographic
for the Charger is a 40-to-59-year-old male, married with two
kids, income from $65,000 to $90,000, and living in the suburbs
of a large city. She says that the psychographic is someone who
is confident, self-expressive, genuine and enterprising.

What about the video on the
web site, with the driver knocking down barriers and ripping
through fences?

“That is an animated video,”
she says. “It is clearly fantasy. It’s not real people ripping
down a road. It is more like a game. Gaming graphics are popular.
It is not a television commercial where it is a real vehicle
and someone is launching a vehicle 20 feet in the air. They were
designed to get you excited and tap into that untamed spirit.”

The campaign is more than just
speed, she says.

The theme of the ad campaign:
unleash.

The ideal customer is someone
who wants to liberate their untamed spirit, she says.

They are looking for ways to
go out and grab life by the horns.

In 1995, President Bill Clinton
signed a law revoking the national 55 mph speed limit.

The Insurance Institute for
Highway Safety says that one act by President Clinton has cost
thousands of lives.

Richard Retting of the Institute
says. “When speed limits are raised, it’s no surprise that
drivers go faster, and when drivers go faster, there are more
deaths.”

Retting says that the auto
companies are just adding fuel to the fire.

He says that the DaimlerChrysler
ad “encourages reckless, irresponsible driving.”

But the ad says — right there
in large print – “Remember, Speed Limits Are Laws, Not
Suggestions.”

“Are they saying — we
didn’t mean what we just said?” Retting asks.

Retting says that there were
41,000 deaths on U.S. highways last year.

At least a third of them are
due to speeding.

That’s at least 13,000 deaths
per year due to speeding.

That would be four 911s.

Every year.

Due to speeding.

And irresponsible ads like
the DaimlerChrysler ad are just fueling the fire.

Bloody Daimler.

Bloody Chrysler.

Bloody Dodge.

Bloody Charger.

Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
Corporate Crime
Reporter
.

Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based
Multinational
Monitor
, and co-director of Essential Action, a corporate
accountability group. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators:
The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe,
Maine: Common Courage Press; http://www.corporatepredators.org).

(c) Russell Mokhiber and Robert
Weissman

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 24, 2017
Paul Street
Beyond Neoliberal Identity Politics
Daniel Read
Powder Keg: Manchester Terror Attack Could Lead to Yet Another Resurgence in Nationalist Hate
Robert Fisk
When Peace is a Commodity: Trump in the Middle East
Kenneth Surin
The UK’s Epochal Election
Jeff Berg
Lessons From a Modern Greek Tragedy
Steve Cooper
A Concrete Agenda for Progressives
Michael McKinley
Australia-as-Concierge: the Need for a Change of Occupation
William Hawes
Where Are Your Minds? An Open Letter to Thomas de Maiziere and the CDU
Steve Early
“Corporate Free” Candidates Move Up
Fariborz Saremi
Presidential Elections in Iran and the Outcomes
Dan Bacher
The Dark Heart of California’s Water Politics
Alessandra Bajec
Never Ending Injustice for Pinar Selek
Rob Seimetz
Death By Demigod
Jesse Jackson
Venezuela Needs Helping Hand, Not a Hammer Blow 
Binoy Kampmark
Return to Realpolitik: Trump in Saudi Arabia
Vern Loomis
The NRA: the Dragon in Our Midst
May 23, 2017
John Wight
Manchester Attacks: What Price Hypocrisy?
Patrick Cockburn
A Gathering of Autocrats: Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias
Shamus Cooke
Can Trump Salvage His Presidency in Syria’s War?
Thomas S. Harrington
“Risk”: a Sad Comedown for Laura Poitras
Josh White
Towards the Corbyn Doctrine
Mike Whitney
Rosenstein and Mueller: the Regime Change Tag-Team
Jan Oberg
Trump in Riyadh: an Arab NATO Against Syria and Iran
Susan Babbitt
The Most Dangerous Spy You’ve Never Heard Of: Ana Belén Montes
Rannie Amiri
Al-Awamiya: City of Resistance
Dimitris Konstantakopoulos
The European Left and the Greek Tragedy
Laura Leigh
This Land is Your Land, Except If You’re a Wild Horse Advocate
Hervé Kempf
Macron, Old World President
Michael J. Sainato
Devos Takes Out Her Hatchet
L. Ali Khan
I’m a Human and I’m a Cartoon
May 22, 2017
Diana Johnstone
All Power to the Banks! The Winners-Take-All Regime of Emmanuel Macron
Robert Fisk
Hypocrisy and Condescension: Trump’s Speech to the Middle East
John Grant
Jeff Sessions, Jesus Christ and the Return of Reefer Madness
Nozomi Hayase
Trump and the Resurgence of Colonial Racism
Rev. William Alberts
The Normalizing of Authoritarianism in America
Frank Stricker
Getting Full Employment: the Fake Way and the Right Way 
Jamie Davidson
Red Terror: Anti-Corbynism and Double Standards
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, Sweden, and Continuing Battles
Robert Jensen
Beyond Liberal Pieties: the Radical Challenge for Journalism
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Extravagant Saudi Trip Distracts from His Crisis at Home
Angie Beeman
Gig Economy or Odd Jobs: What May Seem Trendy to Privileged City Dwellers and Suburbanites is as Old as Poverty
Colin Todhunter
The Public Or The Agrochemical Industry: Who Does The European Chemicals Agency Serve?
Jerrod A. Laber
Somalia’s Worsening Drought: Blowback From US Policy
Michael J. Sainato
Police Claimed Black Man Who Died in Custody Was Faking It
Clancy Sigal
I’m a Trump Guy, So What?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail