What’s the newest way to sell a Dodge Charger? Tell buyers that it’s only available for humans. In a strange, presumably tongue-in-cheek, commercial Dodge tells its prospective customers that the automotive company is all about flesh and blood drivers. The description for the video on YouTube says it all: “We will let computers do a lot of things. But we will never, ever, let them drive our cars.” With references to the robot apocalypse seen in the Matrix, the ad takes a stab at Google, Volkswagen, Ford, Volvo and all the other companies developing autonomous vehicles. Check out the commercial in the video below. Even the name of the ad, “Slippery Slope”, is fairly anti-technology. This is supposed to be a subtle joke, right Dodge? I can’t imagine you’d actually be dumb enough to tell customers you’ll never innovate your cars.
Look, I get it. Making your cars seem exclusive helps them sell. Saying computers don’t get to command your cars is really no different from Volkswagen’s “drivers wanted” slogan. The difference is, however, that “drivers wanted” is rather ambiguous, while “We will let computers do a lot of things. But we will never, ever, let them drive our cars.” is painting you into a corner. Google has a robot car that can drive itself for miles and miles. Volkswagen has an autonomous Audi that can rally race. Volvo is developing a system that will take over for drivers on the highway. Even Ford is playing with advanced sensor tech to augment human decision making. Is Chrysler/Dodge going to skip this trend? Of course not. This commercial is all talk. Funny, car-selling talk, but still. Like every other automotive company out there, Dodge is going to have to keep improving its vehicles’ technology. Anything else would be suicide.
[screen capture and video credit: Dodge]