When it comes to projecting our identity to the world, there are few products that do so as powerfully as cars. What we drive can tell the world more about who we are than where we live, where we went to school, or who our parents are. You are what you drive, as they say.
This automotive extension of identity has only gotten more nuanced and intricate as vehicle technology has developed and cars have become more feature rich. Now, it seems that every brand of motor vehicle has a stereotype attached.
It’s a phenomenon automotive marketers have long relied on to sell cars, though. As we cast our eyes back over car marketing history, we see vehicles targeted to the family-focused, speed demons, the young, the old, the adventurous, the safety conscious, lawyers, teachers, architects — and in the case of one Japanese carmaker, lesbians.