Friday, April 20, 2007

SUV Sophistication

I recently saw a TV commercial for the Chrysler Aspen.

2007 Chrysler Aspen, Sophisticated?


The idea was that they took the letters in the word Aspen and, one-by-one, they made new words out of them, each describing the vehicle.

Attitude
ASpohistication
ASPerformance
ASPElegance
ASPENew

Now, I realize that you are only supposed to look at the words starting with the last letter from the word Aspen in that particular row. There is no such word as "asperformance", you are just supposed to read from the 'P' on.

But they had to have been able to find something better than "aspohistication". Not a great descriptor for a product you are trying to sell. The base word, sophistication, means sophisticated character, ideas, tastes, or ways as the result of education, worldly experience, etc, according to Dictionary.com. And the prefix a, means not, without, according to englishclub.com.

So it looks to me like Chrysler (or at least their ad agency) is describing the Aspen as being "without sophistication". Lacking sophisticated ideas or ways. No education, worldly experience, etc. They're making it sound downright stupid.

I can't imagine how that would slip past everyone involved in creating and approving this commercial. Does nobody critically review the copy of their ads? I'm sure they don't want people to think that their SUV is anything but highly sophisticated.

Then again, when they considered the part in the definition about "sophisticated ideas...as the result of education..." they realized that, with the US Department of Energy ranking the Aspen as one of the worst vehicles available in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, saying that the Aspen is lacking sophistication might have been exactly what they meant.

1 comment:

ringworm said...

and on top of all that, it's a chrysler. who intentionally buys american cars any more? not me, matey.