Jeremy Peters of The New York Times delves into something today that’s been bothering AdFreak: Who the hell gives a luxury car for Christmas? (Full disclosure: I don’t own a car, and I fall far, far outside the Lexus demographic.) Peters concludes that yes, some people do in fact give their loved ones a $35,000-$65,000 Lexus, presumably as a result of the pummeling inflicted every holiday season by the “December to Remember” TV ads. (A favorite: A woman is online looking at a golfing site, maybe thinking about getting her man some club warmers or even new clubs. Then she sees a Lexus across the street under a bow. It hits her: Forget the e-commerce, I’m getting him a car. Seems a bit unlikely.) Yet according to Peters, “Lexus now sells more cars in December than any other month.” We’re also fed some anecdotal evidence: A Michigan car dealer says about a half dozen people wait until Dec. 24 to pick up their cars, and Lexus actually has a warehouse in Torrance, Calif., for those giant red bows that are a must for any gifted Lexus. More important, we’re told, these Saatchi & Saatchi-created ads position Lexus as the pinnacle of luxury, playing into our consumerist fantasies of rolling in enough dough to buy luxury cars as gifts. More likely, it depresses people into thinking they should be in that position, and makes many more convinced that this type of advertising is totally irrelevant to their lives. Still, now that I know it’s cool to give a Lexus for Christmas, I went to the Lexus site to design my own tricked-out SUV, in case loved ones decide against the sweater. It’s a mere $72,649.
—Posted by Brian Morrissey