On-the-road musings for a Friday

It’s interesting how quickly one can give in to a company’s promises when booze and freebies are offered.

How does one ever like something — truly like it — without champagne and a present?!

The auto industry does it all the time: Booze up the journos the first night, then send them on a scenic drive the next day in their top-of-the-line model: Sold.

As materialistic and un-journalistic as this might seem, it happens all the time. It’s like a secret us journos and the PR companies all share; we all know it’s a bunch of bullshit malarky, but we play along because we want the freebies and the PR people want us to say their products are the best. But who really wins in the end?

I’ve noticed a lot of auto reviewers gushing over cars that really didn’t deserve that much gushing and I begin to wonder; was it the 5-star hotel that sold him? Or maybe the free T-shirt, hat and mug swag he got from the automaker that really threw him into rapture over this vehicle.

I’ll be the first to admit, I’m a victim of this cycle. I fell in love with the quirky Cube when I first met it. Why? Because they hosted their launch in South Beach, Miami — in February. So, not only was I getting away from snowy, cold, depressing Montreal, but I was in Miami being wined and dined and generally pampered. The Cube was the best god damn car I’d drive in, like, forever.

Coolest thing since Brit-Brit hit it one more time ... or something

But then I got behind the wheel again here in Montreal and everything changed. Without the blinding Miami sun, cool sea breeze and half-naked women and men strolling around outside the aquarium windows it all looked a little less … rosy. I saw the car for what it truly was.

I’m not quite sure where I’m going with this post, only that as I attended a clothing company cocktail the other night, champagne in hand, I really took a look at what was happening around me and wondered why we were all there.

Over the years I’ve learned that while press trips and launches are amazing and entirely too much fun, they are misleading. They truly do give you a glorified look at whatever you’re there to “judge.” You’d be hardpressed to bash a company that not only paid for your flight, hotel, meals and booze, but also allowed you to drive around a foreign (usually picturesque) setting, probably still drunk from the dinner the night before.

This might push me out of future press trips (fingers crossed that it won’t, oh faithful readers!), but I’ve come to ignore what I initially feel on press trips for car launches. I wait to judge a car properly at home, on my own time, without someone else’s bank account paying for my gas and food. I think it gives me a much more realistic opinion.

Or maybe I’m just crazy.
You be the judge.

Drive on,
– M.

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~ by drivingmsmiranda on January 21, 2011.

One Response to “On-the-road musings for a Friday”

  1. […] a press event can sugarcoat opinions, but I think for once Ford truly showed the strengths and weaknesses of their vehicle. They truly […]

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