Aston gives lessons in annoyance

16 November 2005

The marketing people who dream up slogans to promote auto brands really ought to stick to their brochures and keep at least 100 paces away from the actual cars.

As revealed on the latest edition of Top Gear TV programme, when the new Aston Martin V8 Vantage is started up, the little screen in the dashboard goes through its own boot up process. And just as Microsoft Windows makes its annoying little fanfare when it has finally chugged into life, so the Aston does its own little marketing-led pirouette, flashing the words “Power”, “Beauty”, and “Soul” up on the screen before settling into displaying actual vehicle metrics.

It’s not a great idea. Anyone prepared to fork out the cash required to see the message every day will already have been seduced by whatever marketing people think is wise - or will more probably have made up their mind regardless of the current “Power, Beauty and Soul” push. Hammering home the slogan day after day thereafter won’t increase the owner’s likelihood of buying another Aston – in fact the smug little trio of words might just irritate owners enough to do the reverse.

In-car screens ought to deliver useful information or nothing at all.

It’s unlikely that restraint will prevail, however. No doubt the same idea will soon permeate every vehicle with an active display, and be taken to its illogical extreme. In years to come, the motor probably won’t start until you’ve sat through the latest TV advert, relayed by wireless to your dashboard display.

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