Cars, machinery, gadgets, tech, SUVs and sexy do-dads constitute the fabric of a d-bag’s personality, obvs. But Avis’s ad agency has come up with a brilliant piece of d-baggery that will sing in the heart of millions of American d-bags.
The ads imaginatively speak from the perspective of your old car. It’s like tech on tech porn with a soap opera plot thrown in. Your faithful old ride that used to zoom you all over town sits in a cold, heartless parking garage or parking lot while you go galavanting around the country, whooping it up in a little sexy rental. The ad “Three Days” is meant to appeal to chicks, so it moderates the full force of its d-baggery. In this scenario your girlfriend has been off in Miami for the portentious three days soaking up the sun and riding around in a new Prius. If this sounds like vanilla flavored, white people d-baggery, it is: she justifies cheating on her meat and potatoes, 23 mpg, classic, d-bag mobile by telling herself she’s buying up in prestige, and we imagine she’ll dump the old car for a Prius the first chance she gets. For a chick, d-bag impulses are restrained by her “conscience” which any d-bag knows is just a band-aid called hypocrisy.
But the ad “Conference” is a perfect tour of the d-bag imagination. In it, an old Buick sits in a iced-over parking lot patiently waiting for its old driver to get back from a trip to a conference in New Mexico. Chilly wind blows through a cracked window (open on purpose or through negligence?) and rattles the plastic draped over a naked wire hanger. The voice over, from the POV of the Buick tells us, “He said he had to go to Santa Fe for work — ‘big conference.’ Right. You know what’s happening. You know he’s with … another car, driving around, probably to some rock climbing wall or out on an expensive dinner. He’ll say it was with a client. It’s probably that red, Cadillac CTS from Avis … again.” The jokey subtext is that the Buick is the long suffering wife who picks up her man’s laundry and totes it around town. She has been frozen out of his sexual fantasies for a long time (she is, after all, a dumpy old Buick — good with kids but not the sort to wear a thong), and she knows even when he’s driving her he’s thinking of another car. Boy is it fun to put one over on that old battle axe! But here’s the really fun part! Avis is the pimp who set up our d-bag with some real crank-yanking action on his conference/sex holiday. Substitute women for cars (a fantasy inherent to d-baggery) and you have sex tourism, which the Department of Justice tells us on its web page is a huge industry inside as well as outside the United States. And don’t think it’s all just a bunch of Eliot Spitzers out there who are having all the fun! Estimates of the annual profits from d-bags who just want to get their bone on top 7 billion dollars. That’s more than half of Wal*Mart‘s total yearly profits.
It’s all part of the “I deserve it” attitude of American corporate culture (known by the hipper sort of d-bag as “libertarianism”). Go on! Pamper yourself! Rent a Cadillac CTS, a Hummer, or a Punani for the weekend. A d-bag revels in perks, special privileges, and excess — especially when it hurts and humiliates a woman.