Free TiVo? Heck, I want a Free Car.
September 27, 2000 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Free TiVo? Heck, I want a Free Car. I don't care if Amazon is selling Cars online now, I want my next car to be free. This company gives you a free car, wrapped in advertising, for up to two years. Not a bad deal considering the cost of cars these days. You can get a Ford explorer (no word on the tires) or a VW beetle. I'll be watching my TiVo TV from the back seat!
posted by DragonBoy (15 comments total)
Screw that. also does the ad thing, although they cover your current car - they don't give you a free one. This concept is annoying. I don't want to see ads everywhere.
posted by gluechunk at 6:32 PM on September 27, 2000

I hear you can also get a free bed from craftmatic if you agree to always dream about Coca-Cola, Nike, McDonalds, and Sony.

I see these cars all over San Francisco, and I feel bad for the owners, is there anything they won't sell off in the name of advertising? A free TiVo is one thing, but it doesn't mean I have to watch more ads or plaster logos all over my television.

Frankly these cars are ugly and an eyesore on the street and in parking lots. I've heard you have to drive a minimum number of miles a week and document everything with gas receipts to prove you drove all over.

If everyone did this, what would our world look like? I kind of like a world where plain, single color cars are the norm.

Actually, it'd be nicer if everyone divorced their cars and rode bikes instead.
posted by mathowie at 6:33 PM on September 27, 2000

Speaking as someone who's looking to buy a car right now, this actually kinda appeals to me. I don't know about the minimum mileage thing, though. I don't even know how much diriving I do now, but it's probably only 50-100 miles per week. 50 being average, 100 being rare.

It appeals to me, though, because even though I don't really care to be a walking (driving?) advertisement, cars cost a lot of money. Even used cars, provided you want a decent one. I can either spend the next two years paying for a car -- on top of other things, like, say, insurance and gas, and rent, once I get around to moving out -- or deal with a tacky ad, and drive a brand new car with free maintenance, and just pay for insurance and gas.

As for divorcing my car (but I haven't even gotten engaged yet!)...sure, I'd love to ride my bike 12 miles to the mall, and 12 and back. Especially in the winter. Over the highways. Or 14 miles to the movie theatre, with my 10-year-old sister and her friends. Oh, and forget grocery shopping.

If you can get away with not owning a car, great. A lot of people can't.
posted by CrayDrygu at 7:16 PM on September 27, 2000

I think it could be fun to try to convince one of these companies to let me put their advertising on my car.

If I sent photos, I bet I could get them to pay me NOT to put their logos on my car.

Do you think this kind of blackmail is illegal?

Incidentally, I think this idea is about as repulsive as the recent trend of installing advertisements in public restrooms. Or financing buses & light rail by using the vehicles as billboards. Or...

Advertising as a concept is repulsive. Maybe when aramaic gets finished taking over the world, (s)he can ban the printing of names or logos on things other than the items they refer to... product packaging would be OK, billboards, cross-promotional soft drink cups, and banner-spangled autos would be out. We'd still be subject to the puerile fashion of massive manufacturer logos plastered on clothing, but at least that lets me know who to avoid...

posted by Mars Saxman at 7:38 PM on September 27, 2000

Another small prob Cray - whatever advertiser you get, you're stuck with (they might have some sort of appeals set up, but I remember the autowraps fine print stipulated that whatever they slapped on your car was staying).

Picture it, you cruise up to the mall entrance in your fresh, shiny, new beetle (free beetle!), and you're puttin' out the yeah, you're the man. Then a pack of mall rats walks up, you flash your smile, they look your way... and laugh uncontrollably.

[camera pulls out revealing your beetle, covered in four foot tall letters proclaiming "Tampax: keeps you fresh and dry!"]
posted by mathowie at 7:58 PM on September 27, 2000

Mars - You do realize that the MeFi script 'signs' your posts for you, right? Just checking.
posted by tomorama at 8:00 PM on September 27, 2000

Mars -- I hereby promise to ban all forms of advertising. Anyone caught with so much as a "nike" T-shirt will be immediately shot and their family imprisoned. Advertising executives will be similarly imprisoned and, as they say, re-educated vigorously (or just shot).

As a civilized people, we cannot allow corporate influences to distract the hard-working proletariat from their patriotic duty. All packaging will be black type on a white background. Hail the New Regime!
posted by aramaic at 8:46 PM on September 27, 2000

Unfortunately, I have a little bit of advertising experience, and I'm just wondering what kind of desperate company wants to tie their "brand" with a bozo getting paid to drive their logo around town? Apparently MTV and 3M. MTV I can understand, but 3M?
Every day, more and more, I want to live in a cave with some books and maybe a few movies and get the hell away from ads.
posted by Doug at 9:43 PM on September 27, 2000

3M probably manufactures some element of the car-wrap system, hence their interest in advertising on said system. If it's thin, plastic, or adhesive, 3M probably had something to do with it ... it seems like they manufacture everything.
posted by aramaic at 6:13 AM on September 28, 2000

That's true. Can you do something about 3m, too, then?
posted by Doug at 8:22 AM on September 28, 2000

You don't want to shut 3M down though. Without them we wouldn't have Post-It Notes, or anything else that's plastic and/or sticky.

Well, I guess DuPont did *SOME* of it, but still. Sticky and/or plastic is important.
posted by cCranium at 8:27 AM on September 28, 2000

tomorama: Yes.
I'll stop if it bothers you.
Decade-long habits, reinforced tens of thousands of times, are hard to break.
posted by Mars Saxman at 9:00 AM on September 28, 2000

Matt -- it says in their FAQ that if you object to the advertising, you can say no...but if I remember right, you don't necessarily get a new (different) car right away. You just go back into the pool.
posted by CrayDrygu at 11:25 AM on September 28, 2000

The funny thing to me is that on one level I agree that it's a shame that the world is going over to the advertisers, but on the other hand I look at a car and what is it? It's a big advertisement already-- a monumental advertisement for the continued separation of man and nature, a contraption running on a collapsing supply of dinosaur bones whose value makes a percentage of the world's population and governmentsm (through both extraxtion and taxation) extraordinarily wealthy, yet has toxified the earth, decreased our physical fitness, and separated our cities into massive channels of roaring beasts, minimizing public interaction and gathering. Now Gasoline is the fuel of our dreams rather than imagination and intelligence.

Well maybe that's going a little over the top. Personally I live in LA and I enjoy cars on many levels, hell my 'am is pretty much my best friend some lonely nights driving 'neath the pollution blocked stars. However I do believe driving a car covered in ads is just tacky...Morally, however, I don't think there's a huge difference between riding in transportation supported by ads (buses, subways, trains, and now cars) and privately funded transportation.

I'm always happy to ride a free, advertiser supported bike when I'm in Copenhagen, never really worried about the implications. Getting around town for free was pretty much the overriding feeling... and I'm not sure it's really that bad a thing for people to lose their undying affection for private transport... even though personally I'll probably always love it.
posted by chaz at 3:25 AM on September 29, 2000

Advertising as a concept is repulsive.

I disagree.

Advertisement is the primary form of education in America today. I want more ads! More ads, I say! I mean, typically the ads are a lot more appealing than what would normally be there.

Of course, I'm writing this message on the computer that I got from the Free-PC company, before they went under. So I vote yes to trading my eyeballs for filthy lucre. Who's with me?

posted by Jart at 8:59 PM on October 1, 2000

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