The latest video in satirical website Cracked‘s “If TV Ads Were Forced To Be Honest” series sets its sights on the automobile industry, and hits the mark.
Rather than simply poking fun at deceptive product names or grossly exaggerated advertising, the film is a comprehensive takedown of exactly why car dealerships are predisposed to rip car buyers off.
The three-minute film is shot in the style of many regional auto dealership TV spots, in which a friendly, reassuring salesman talks directly to camera, extolling the virtues of particular vehicle as he (and they are always men) walks around it, culminating in the great deal that can be offered if only you come to the show room right now.
In the Cracked version, “Roger” stands alongside a shiny saloon and explains: “You’re going to have to buy one of these eventually and you’re going to have to buy this car from me–a legally mandated middleman who buys up cars and sells them for almost no profit … unless I screw you over. Which I will.” Roger goes on to highlight how, “unlike every other purchase in your life,” you can’t go online and buy a car for a set price; instead you have to go into a dealership and negotiate with someone like him, who spends “every minute of every day getting better at negotiating.”
Roger leaves no stone unturned in showing the myriad ways the dice are stacked against car buyers, including how dealerships are incentivized to sell “broken” cars because an auto dealership’s No. 1 profit stream is the service department.
Suddenly, taking up cycling looks a lot more attractive.