There are a lot of smug commercials out there, desperate to get you to switch to their product by insinuating that it's the cool or smart thing to do. Very few of them, however, are quite this in-your-face about the viewer's need to clue in.
The "Big Duh" sales event. Someone actually came up with this name, and someone else - indeed, surely an entire room full of people - agreed that it was a great idea and that Hyundai should get started on insulting car buyers by saying that getting a Hyundai is the "duh" thing to do.
The TV ads aren't nearly as bad as the radio ones I've heard, featuring the "World's Smartest Person," an insufferable prick with a British accent whose three claims to fame are his head for not-terribly-obscure trivia, his overwhelming attitude of superiority, and his belief that buying a Hyundai constitutes a "big duh." Fuck that guy right in the ear.
But in the absence of that, the TV versions are plenty bad. First, there's the painful a cappella replacing every note with "duh," as though it's actually easy to distinguish that from any other a cappella note. Fortunately, we have a smarmy voiceover ready to show up at the 12-second mark.
Some self-satisfied dickbag in a recording booth: "The word 'duh.' As in, it's obvious. It's a no-brainer."
This commercial underestimates the viewing public so much that it thinks we need not one but two synonyms for the word "duh," a word (if you can even call it that) of which anyone over the age of five already knows the definition. The guy even sounds like he's talking down to you as he's saying it. And this is Hyundai, for fuck's sake. I would expect this from, I don't know, that guy in the Lexus ads? That guy is a douche.
Dickbag who might, actually, be Kelsey Grammer now that I think about it: "Like a great deal. On a great car."
In J.D. Power and Associates' Initial Quality Study for 2007, Hyundai rated, across the board, "about average." I'm guessing that among the 25 other manufacturers that rated about as good as or better than Hyundai, there are occasionally other great deals to be had. But hell, what do I know?
Dickbag, in somehow even more dickish fashion than before: "Hit the duh switch. The Hyundai Big Duh Sales Event."
Incidentally, are we going to see some proof that Hyundai's cars actually are great, or that their deals are actually good? Most car commercials are endless parades of terms and legalese, and yet Hyundai really just wants you to remember the supposed "Duh"-ness of their deals. Not what they, you know, actually are. But wait, some might actually be coming:
For some reason, a totally different announcer: "Get up to $2000 cash back on a 2007 Hyundai Tucson V6, rated Best in Class vehicle satisfaction by AutoPacific."
I love the term "cash back" because it strikes me as seriously disingenuous. It's a rebate; all that means in the end is that you're being charged a little less. Why not just say "Save $2,000 on a 2007 Hyundai Tucson?" Because people like the idea of "here's some cash!" Also, it makes your cars sound less cheap if you pretend they cost more and then just turn around and hand the money over. It's win-win!
And just why is the Duh Tabernacle Choir singing the Mission: Impossible theme? The cars in this ad are SUVs and compact SUVs. Am I supposed to think that these reliably average cars are somehow sexy or appealing? Come on, Hyundai, everyone knows your niche. Like, duh.