On a recent trip to Hong Kong, I spent a lot of time looking at luxury ads. They are a pervasive presence in this city, which has an obsession with luxury consumption. Since I run my own brand, I am always studying what other companies are doing to project their image. As a car lover, I always take particular notice when cars are employed in fashion shoots.
There is one common use of cars that I simply abhor, and it's about time someone said something! I hate ads where a guy or girl is sitting on the hood of a classic car, often with their feet on the bumper! I suppose this is meant to imbue the model with a casual "Oh this old heap? Yeah I like to cruise around in it" attitude. But let's be honest here, no one EVER sits on the hood of a car they actually own. I can only imagine the hood of that poor MGA above bears the model's ass prints in its flimsy steel. And that E-type below surely needed some help after that smug-looking douche alighted from the weakest spot in the hood.
So why do I hate these ads so much? Becuase they are so unnatural, and display a contrived behavior that doesn't exist in real life. Imagine if you walked the lawn at a car show, and saw each owner sitting on the hood of his car posing for photos! That would be absolute lunacy. And the fact that it doesn't exist in real life just magnifies how out of touch the creative directors --most of whom probably don't own a car and couldn't even tell you the name of the car in the ad-- are, and therefore how little credibility the brand has to actual car aficionados despite their use of a car in the ad. It just rings incredibly hollow, and makes the use of the car all the more superficial.
You'll never see this BS in any Autodromo campaign, I promise you.