Mid-Life Crisis Campaign Alienates Both Young And Old


Squarely Placing the VW Passat alongside the Chevrolet Corvette as badge of the mid-life crisis, TribalDDB UK has launched Mid-Life Crisis Retreat, a site built specifically for 40 and 50 year old men who think they've still got game and believe tighter clothing, among other horrific things, makes them equally as hot as a 25 year old underwear model. The video-heavy site offers up test to determine just how badly one has fallen into the mode of mid-lfe crisis. And, of course, you can send the test to a friend so they, too, can wallow in the self pity that is the mid-life crisis. This is some really uplifting stuff here, folks.

This approach wields a questionably double edged sword. It clearly positions the Passat as a car no one under 40 would be caught dead driving. It also positions the vehicle as desirable to the very small audience of older men who've resigned themselves to the fact they'll never again get leering looks from women the way they, themselves, still leer at women. Considering many 40 and 50 year old men still wish they were 25 and rolling with the hotties in the Mini, this leaves a very, very small number of men who'd willingly admit they're squarely placed withing the dreaded category of mid-life crisis and, thereby, respond to this campaign for anything other than its comedic value...which is quite good by the way.

We're not sure how wonderful a campaign which shouts "I'm over 40 and I've just bought a mid-life crisis mobile" will be received, though, with the over 40 and 50 set destined to demographically stamp out the younglings in a few years, the mid-life crisis just might be the new place for the cool kids to hang out.

Written by Steve Hall    Comments (3)     Jun- 1-07  
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The Corvette is a world class sports car, and better in many ways than most of the best sports cars in the world. Every article and award for the Corvette in the past 8 years comes back to this point again and again.

If trend whores like the author of the above article want to try to paint the car as a "mid life crisis car" or otherwise denigrate ownership of the car, they are just illustrating their own contempt for having fun with a fast car, ownership of a beautiful car, or the right of people to choose to own something that gives them joy.

Sorry, Mr. Hall - not everyone buys a car for how other people will see them. Perhaps you are projecting your own car snobbery on others. Some people own Corvettes or other sports cars because they are truly fun and pleasurable to own and drive.

Posted by: James on June 1, 2007 11:25 AM

Can't say I connect mid-life crisis with Passat. The comercial is funny, but I wonder how it will direct viewers to buy the car.

Posted by: Vail Valley Marketing on June 1, 2007 05:28 PM

I don't dispute the performance qualities of the vehicle. They are, in fact, stellar. I'm no trend whore painting a picture. The car's had that mid-life crisis quality for 20 years. This is not news. And no doubt the vehicle is fun to drive but why is it every time I see the driver of a Corvette, they are middle aged, fat, balding and dress and act as if they want to be 25? Am I stereotyping? Sure, but I'm only calling it as I see it.

Posted by: Steve Hall on June 1, 2007 07:29 PM

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