Monday, February 6, 2012
Cars.com ad shows how car dealers market to blacks
I found the Cars.com ad that ran during the Superbowl a bit disturbing. I'm not sure how many picked up on it. Steve Sailer did.
Good salesmen know every trick. One of those tricks is to be aware that people don't like to admit that they can't afford the item being purchased. Zig Ziglar, who I love to listen to on tape, describes this in his tape series and book, Secrets of Closing the Sale, when he describes his experience of buying a Cadillac from master car salesman Chuck Bellows.
This is especially true of black buyers. Studies have shown that blacks pay more for cars. Other studies have shown that at any given income level blacks are more likely to pay for first class plane tickets. Blacks seem to be far more prone to attacks on their ego than do white buyers.
Make no mistake, the ego attack works on everyone, as illustrated by Ziglar's response to Bellows' question, "Is it too much?" But marketers use the attack with especial effectiveness on black customers. There's no racist design behind this. Salesmen just size up each customer and then squeeze out every dollar they can. They are doing nothing wrong. But as a society we ought to educate everyone on how to be better consumers.
In the Superbowl cars.com ad, a black customer is in a car dealership while a "confidence puppet" is screaming "Oh baby, I want that car!" The black customer explains to the car salesman that he's researched the GAS MILEAGE, of all things, on cars.com, and therefore is ready to make a choice, and so "I'll take that one." There's no reference whatsoever to him having bargained over price, which in the final analysis is likely more important than the gas mileage.
I'm sure I've been to the cars.com website before, but in the future I'm going to try not to use it. They have made it clear that they don't want to provide the type of information that consumers really need, which is the lowest price we have to pay to get the car, not the gas mileage.
Based on their commercial, I can only conclude that the cars.com people are out to hoodwink us, not to help us.
(The link I've provided to the Ziglar book should take you directly to the Ziglar description of the car buying experience I described. I urge the reading of as many pages before and after as Google will permit. It's a great story!)