We may end up beating a dead horse here, but some of the clichés that are still being used today have grown tired over the years. I thought a lot about it recently and began auditing my surroundings to determine just how often I would hear a cliché. It was bad enough to see how many times aclichés was overheard in the span of a day, but when it comes to the automotive industry, there were more than enough that we could do away with.
Before I list out said car industry clichés, don’t forget to take advantage of the promo code, CLICHE17, to save money on your first PartsMarket order.
Now – on to that dead horse…
- “It purrs like a kitten”: Of course, this specific line comes in many variations. You’ll hear about all types of cats depending on the preference of the mechanic at hand. It could be a lion; maybe a panther; it could even be a common housecat. Regardless, it’s a bit overused and almost entirely inaccurate. Engines aren’t felines. Period.
- “Darth Vader, your car is ready!”: Any Star Wars fan can appreciate this reference. But let’s not geek out over a character due to our obsessions. A car in no way resembles a spacecraft. Oh, and by the way, are we calling the customer a villain? Even if the customer takes it as a compliment (“I am dark and mysterious!”), I think we can do better with the character allusions. How about “David Hasselhoff, your Knight Rider is ready?”
- “It rides like a dream“: Ok, I get it. If you love cars, you might constantly dream about driving on the open highway – going 150 in the middle of nowhere. You’re revving your engine with the top down and your hair blowing in the wind. When you look at the mechanics of this cliché, though, it doesn’t actually make much sense. My dream isn’t the one driving the car. I am. What if I dream about bumpy rides? Then are you stating that my car doesn’t ride smoothly? Please clarify!
- Referring to your car as a beautiful woman: With all that’s going on in Hollywood right now, I probably shouldn’t even touch this one. All I will say is that men shouldn’t be fantasizing about cars in the same way. Sure, the car is beautiful, but it doesn’t even have ankles or elbows.
- “The engine’s as smooth as an aged scotch“: As a scotch drinker, I appreciate this cliché more than most. That doesn’t mean it works, however. First, I would never drink any liquids that come out of a car. Even if the engine does run really well, “smooth” may not be the most accurate term for its quality. Overall, though, I do like to combine two of my favorite things – scotch and cars. So perhaps we’ll keep this one around…?
- “This car is super safe.”: You’ll hear it from car salesmen all the time. It makes sense. Why wouldn’t they remind the worried soccer mom that her van will protect her children no matter how bad of a collision they may get into (god forbid)? But what about the other side of it? Do any consumers these days actually seek out unsafe vehicles? Better yet, why would a car company make an unsafe car and still allow a salesman to lie about it. Just generally saying a car is safe doesn’t do much good. Answering specific questions about the safety requirements, on the other hand, should always be welcomed.
- “You look so cool in that car!”: Objection #1 – If you have to drive a car to look cool, you may have other concerns than which car you’re in. Let’s not let a nice car provide too much weight on the coolness factor of its owners. Along with the car itself, if you upgrade your clothing, change your hairstyle, and buy yourself a nice pair of sunglasses…. well, then maybe you will look cool in that car.
- “This car is so fast, it….“: For all you racecar drivers out there, this is an important selling point. Nothing says “Macho” like a revving engine and speedometer that goes from 0-60 in a matter of seconds. Saying that a car “bends time” or “breaks the sound barrier,” however, is a taking the notion a bit too far. It’s fine if you want a fast car, but let’s also remember that there are speed limits. Making a big deal about a car’s speed is like a man being upset that he wasn’t born with “birthing hips.”
Clichés are fun. I hope you are able to see the arguments listed above as a lighthearted way to review how we describe items in this industry.
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Now go out there and give it 110%!