Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Desiree Cooper of the Detroit Free Press, must have had a Brokeback breakdown

I found this over at Jalopnik, apparently Desiree Cooper writing in the Detroit Free Press, is suggesting that Ford become the "Brokeback" brand. This of course being a refference to the movie Brokeback Mountain, about a long enduring relationship between two gay cowboys in Wyoming from the 60's to the late 70's. Now this is the first article I can remember reading that Cooper has written, but there are several problems I have with it.

First her overdrawn stereotypes are bordering on racism, when she says that Cadilac was the brand of the black middle class. I'm sure many African Americans drove Ford, Chevy, Buick, Volvo, whatever their tastes. And just stupid when she asserts that VW was the "symbol of peace and love." I think Desiree has been sitting in the back of a microbus smoking too much weed. Civil rights workers drove many different vehicles, as did war protesters. I mean really, how many dirty hippies could you really fit in a VW Beetle? Some of them went to those rallies in Mom and Dad's Delta 88.

While I agree that Ford ultimately took the right course in the latest clash with the AFA, I don't believe any one brand should be the "Brokeback" brand. That in itself is offensive towards gays and everyone in general. Yes market to the gay community because of their potential buying power, and to the black and latino communities, as well as asian and middle eastern. You don't devote a brand to any one group! You don't even devote a model to any one group.

I look at this in the same light as the article a few weeks ago, saying that Mercury is the new Chick Flick brand. You try and sell your vehicles to all groups, and yes you use marketing targeting each group. You have ads on BET directed toward an Urban Hip, primarily African American group, but the same vehicle can be advertised on CMT toward the Counry Western, primarily white group, as well as on Bravo toward the more afluent Suburban Liberal and Fox News toward the more Conservative consumer. Trying to aim a brand or model towards too specific a group or market is short sighted and can alienate potential buyers from other groups.

And to try and peg any brand or vehicle as the "Gay" car is ignorant of the gay community and the overall population. All people are unique, as are their vehicle needs. Not every gay person drives a Subaru, Saturn, Volvo, Jaguar, Honda or Ford. Like any other consumer a gay consumer is going to buy a vehicle that fits their budget and needs.

And what about Chevy Desiree? After all, that's what kind of truck the guys are leaning against, or didn't you know that? Bottom line, no one manufacturer needs to be the "Brokeback" brand, they need to build more interesting cars, that anyone would buy gay or straight. I realize these writer have to pump out the pieces in order to get paid, but come on, between this and the chick flick Mercury article, I wonder why they bother.

  • Mercury article

  • Comments to carefully moderated on this one, so stick to the context or it won't be published.


    Shawn said...

    ...Or maybe gay people just want to drive a quality car with excellent design and reliablity. Oh wait...that's what everyone wants.

    Why not just treat everyone fairly and equally?

    Windveil said...

    That was a pretty nutty write up from the DETROIT FREE PRESS. I've always thought of my car as a means of escaping all the controversies of the day, but it appears that the reviewer wants to drag yet another issue into the automotive world. The unknown or the untalented writers often latch on to controversy as a means of being noticed. This story and its author should be ignored.