An Open Letter to Dodge
"Makes you almost want to have kids ... almost"
I am a loyal Dodge customer whose 2 most recent vehicle purchases were Dodge Grand Caravans, including one in 2010. I recently viewed with horror your ad that depicts having children as something to be avoided. Just who do you think buys minivans anyway (clue: people with children). Which raises the question of why you feel the need to go out of your way to insult them? Is it going to help you sell these family vehicles by making families feel like personae non gratae?
Do you REALLY believe the childless and cynical Daily Show “smart set” to whom the commercial was obviously geared is going to buy a vehicle that averages around 20 mpg? Does it make you feel better about selling a vehicle that gets comparatively crummy gas mileage and thereby pollutes the environment more than other cars if you can make common cause with the sorts of people who view children as just another pollutant with a set of carbon footprints? Although the “smart set” may concur with the sentiment of the ad, they’ll be laughing on their way to buying a Prius.
Meanwhile, you’ve just angered a loyal customer who, although considering buying a Sienna last year, instead relied on my good experience with the Grand Caravan I purchased in 2002 (and still drive) and decided to buy another one. In making that decision, my wife and I took our kids with us to the dealership – they, like the children you disparage in the ad, crawled in and out and all over the interior of the vehicle (and, gasp, may have been a little loud), but I’m sure the salesperson and the dealership were more than happy to have sold the vehicle, which we bought due in no small part to our kids’ enthusiasm for it.
Well, I won’t be making that mistake again, unless I receive a written formal apology and Dodge makes a public statement of regret for running this abysmal ad. Believe me when I tell you that I am NOT the only parent who feels this way. You WILL lose customers over this unless you act to repair the damage you have done by gratuitously insulting those most likely to buy a Dodge minivan.
James T. “Jay” Anderson