The car biz redefines "freedom" for consumers not clear on the subject
We've talked a lot on this blog over the last 11 months about the issues relating to our North American car culture and the urban sprawl it has facilitated. As a result of a heightened level of awareness, we've now come to better understand the impact fossil fuel dependent cars are having on our environment.
That's why I wanted to share with you a PSA (public service announcement) that I recently saw (click on play button above) on KIRO TV from Seattle over the weekend. After viewing it, I had to ask myself if this was 1959 or 2009. The 30 second public service ad is entitled "The Freedom to Drive." It has been playing throughout North America for a while now and it extols the virtues of why the car has made America such a great place to live.
The voice over in the commercial tells us how the car has provided us with the freedom to go places and live our life to the fullest. Perhaps if the spot were extended to a 60 second, they could also add the following lines to the script. "The car has provided us with the freedom to facilitate suburban sprawl. It has provided us with the freedom to pollute. It has provided us with the freedom to pave over countless acres of green space and farmland in order to build super highways."
The PSA we came across is not the only one out there challenging our collective efforts at going green. A new Audi commercial also pokes fun at all of us seeking a more environmentally friendly lifestyle. In what could be considered a slap in the face to many of Vancouver's green activists, Audi laughs at people who use their bicycles to go to work or choose other alternative forms of transportation.
In one scene, a cyclist is riding in some urban centre while the rain is pouring down on him. Moments later a beautiful new white Audi drives by on a sunny day with the occupants claiming they're just as green as the cyclist. This is due to the fact they are burning up "clean diesel". The ad says if you're going to save the planet, at least have some fun doing it.
In any event, we wanted to share these two commercials with all of our readers who aspire to live a greener and cleaner urban lifestyle. I'd encourage you to take a moment and look at these two commercials and let us know if you think they're the kind of advertising that should be produced in our new enviro-age.