The power of emotions
In the USA, Donald Trump has triumphed in commanding the spotlight. How? By the power of emotions. Critics consider him a braggadocious businessman who is dishonest, dangerous, domineering and out of touch. Supporters see him as an entrepreneur who is charismatic, a risk taker, leader and “like me”. He has certainly polarised opinions in America but there’s no denying that supporters feel a strong emotional connection to him.
While tapping into emotions may be advantageous to Trump’s cause, this technique is not limited to politics. Indeed while we may think the choices we make result from logical, rational reasoning, in many cases emotions determine our decisions.
When it comes to cars, owners can have strong emotional connections to their motorised ‘other-halves’. Indeed how a vehicle will reflect your personality and make a statement about who you are, can factor heavily in the purchasing decision.
A handful of automotive manufacturers have created vehicles that provoke such strong emotional connections, and are so adored, owners become besotted by their idiosyncrasies, desiring no alterations or improvements to the model: ever. The Land Rover Defender. In its sixty-seven years lifespan remained virtually unchanged, patrons cherished its agricultural simplicity and rugged aesthetics. A lucrative situation, allowing Jaguar Land Rover to profit greatly from their eulogised cash cow.
The clever people at Mercedes-Benz also successfully reared their own prosperous livestock, the G-Class - affectionately known as the ‘G-Wagon’. Originally developed as a military vehicle from a suggestion of the Shah of Iran, the G-Wagon went on sale in 1979, filling a utilitarian component within the 4X4 market. Over the decades it has morphed into a luxurious status symbol, amassing a cult like following. Celebrities love it too. From the Kardashians to half the premiership, being seen to pilot one of these bulbous giants is a must. And this makes me wonder, why?
For starters, a slap round the face is subtler than a G-Wagon. And that’s a good thing - its clientele lust attention. What’s more you sense Mercedes’ humour, they’ve allowed in-house tuning department ‘AMG’ to go blutiger bonkers. The range-topping version for the English market, the Mercedes G63, boasts a muscular 5.5 litre V8 with power akin to a Ferrari 458. This much power in a vehicle with the aerodynamic efficiencies of a brick is illogical. Purchasing a G63 wouldn’t be a rational decision. From £124,000 it’s undeniably overpriced and the design emphatically antiquated.
But, none of this really matters. The G63 is one tremendously ostentatious, militant middle finger to the conservative and practical. In a world increasingly focused on efficiency, resourcefulness and discount shopping it certainty bucks the trend - giving the gargantuan Mercedes bags of character.
Like Trump the G63 epitomises excess and outwardly expresses wealth. Come November 8th we will see how attractive these traits are to American voters.