Monday, December 02, 2013

Manipulating Blacks to Buy the Chrysler 300

A few years ago, I blogged on the FORD designers crafting the first FORD Fusion to resemble the Cadillac CTS. There was some psychological work at play as people thought the Fusion design looked cool, but couldn't quite place why it did. It was brilliant. Another American automaker has done the same, and pushed the limits on it out to the marketing campaign and aftermarket gear one can buy for the car. The Chrysler 300 was designed to resemble a Bentley and Rolls Royce Phantom and marketed to an urban crowd that would make the connection.

Still a Chrysler

If you ever watched Chrysler 300 ads during sporting events, you might have thought, "Who is paying $40,000 for a Chrysler that will break down in 5 years pretending to be a luxury car?" Black people. It's not their fault, but Global Hue wants them to do so. The ads focused on Detroit, rappers driving the car, black athletes cruising in the 300, using the awesome beat of "Lose Yourself" and a black Gospel choir, wait no, you don't mean... Yes Global Hue played on stereotypical favorites of the black market to sell them the 300 as a luxury vehicle that was cool. It was marketing a poor man's Bentley, which Chrysler further stressed by offering (for a fee) to exchange a special grille that resembled the Bentley grille for the 300. There are entire packages of badges and tags to put Bs on the car to push the Bentley illusion. The status bump must be achieved at all costs.
Just a Chrysler


If you Google image search for images of Phantoms or Bentleys, you will see a resemblance in shape, frame, and even light placement. Enough rappers have Phantoms and Bentleys that the marketed consumer will be primed to associate that image with status and cool. Chrysler allows them to have that piece of cool and get that status bump but for a fraction of the cost. This fraction is still an aspirational purchase for the target market. The upgrades make it even better for the dealer and manufacturer.


The manufacturer has a buyer who cares less about price and adjustments are extra coin. Think rustproofing sprays for cars in snowy climates except even more nonsensical (sprays need to be reapplied to work, but no one does it). Price becomes less of an issue, therefore the premium is greater for the dealer. By offering what is a luxury sedan that is really a knock off of an out of reach luxury sedan, you enter into a monopoly pricing zone. No one buys a BMW because it looks like an even greater car. They buy a BMW for the BMW status bump and superior driving experience. Consumers of a Chrysler 300 are buying a "luxury" car for the status bump from the luxury designation and also the bump from a car resembling an even higher status car. With regards to black Americans' obsession with materialism, this is the new version of the tried and true aspirational reach to be a ballah, shot callah, with 20 inch blades on the Impala. Chrysler's design team crafted it and had a willing diversity partner in Global Hue to manipulate the urban market.

7 comments:

Monroe Ficus said...

The white part of my brain knows its a POS that'll break down, but the black part of me likes its flamboyancy and ghetto cheapness. Worry about getting carjacked, tho, but I guess the black part of me will remember its gat.

Portlander said...

Funny. Just last week I got pwned by a 300 in the parking lot at the grocery store.

It was coming straight at me, but 40 yds or so away and I could only see hood and grill. I was thinking, "is that a Bently? Here!?! It is the day before Thanksgiving... out of town visitor? But OR plates..." So I stare and finally it passes and I see it's only a Chrysler. "F*ck. Should have known. OK, you got me. But I won't be fooled like that next time."

Anonymous said...

I believe Obama owns one, too.

(Correction: Leased one, once.)

peterike said...

But they'll never be royals.

Monroe Ficus said...

Oh, I forgot, one time I when I was working as a cart jockey at Target, I saw a white guy fucking a black chick inside a 300. They quickly drove away.

Son of Brock Landers said...

These comments all made me chuckle. I got started on this after a black female at work was out with me for lunch and saw a brother in a 300 and she said "every black man in a 300 thinks it's a Bentley but we all know he got it on lease cause he cant afford even a Chrysler". A quick search revealed that the car was marketed to older, wealthier individuals and a massive push for the urban market.

@Monroe - Your comments made me laugh because I'm having flashbacks to my bi or tri racial acquaintances in college who'd say similar things. I dont get why anyone would have sex in a Target parking lot. Seriously? Stoner friends and I once drove to a secluded parking lot behind a movie theater up against the woods before a show and saw a couple rocking it in the back of a Honda Element. They went to the same movie as us. After the flick I went ot he bathroom and so did that guy. I just started cracking up next to him. He said, "It's got enough space for a 3way", and we both lost it.

ingeniero Ernesto Ibáñez said...

So cute pictures Crysler 300 modifications.
Dibujos para Colorear
Chrysler 300 2016

Great post. Thanks for sharing!!!! Greetings from Venezuela.