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The '99 Percent' of Lexus H8r's
December 23, 2011  | By Eric Gould

Yes, children, it's Christmas, and time once again to gather 'round the flat panel display and join in the holiday cheer as privileged hipsters receive luxury cars as surprise presents.

I'm talking about the 2011 Lexus "A December to Remember" campaign, of course. It's this year's version of the decade-long series of Lexus holiday commercials that feature the lucky, the well-to-do and the model-beautiful as they get what naturally comes to them -- high-end automobiles decorated with oversized bows.

It's a good bet that those of you in the so-called "99 percent" of the country do not appreciate the implication here and find, as I do, the entire scenario preposterous. It's aimed at the small but wealthy bandwidth that have $30,000 to $70,000 lying around to surprise smiling loved ones with new automobiles.

Even considering when times were good, I would be hard pressed to think of anyone in my circle of reference with the resources to toss around cars as holiday gifts.


And even if you did happen to find yourself, or one of your neighbors, on the snowy sidewalk Christmas morning grinning at a shiny new Lexus, chances are there would soon be a rant at spending all that money without asking the wife first, or that, idiot, it was the wrong color.

The only question is, what country is this vaguely Euro-looking couple from? Because they surely can't be from this one with failing towns and homeowners in default.

The smiling Lexus woman, bedazzled in diamond earrings, is barely able to conceal her excitement as she rides the elevator down to the street outside their luxury condo. Hubby -- scraggly, with fashion-forward bed-head -- slowly gets the idea he's in store for a treat as he, and we, are supposed to get a tip-off from the Lexus theme she somehow arranged with building management to get piped into the elevator car.

On one hand, we have our utter contempt for these characters, and their corporate puppeteers who taunt us each year around this time.


On the other, we have the nagging suspicion that this bitter recrimination isn't likely our most appealing quality -- and we find ourselves asking why it is that these successful people irritate us so much?

As the saying goes, "There are lies, damned lies and statistics." If you believe some of the latter in the press, the gap between those buying new luxury cars for Christmas presents and the rest has never been wider.

So maybe it's not the best time for luxury car makers to be out there in heavy rotation with high-end consumer fantasies.

And yet, the malls are full of holiday shoppers, the iPhone and iPad are smash successes in 2011, and who's to say Mr. and Mrs. New Lexus are all that out of touch?

It is safe to say, however, that whatever side you take on Couple Fortuna, once they turn the key, they could well run into something all of us can relate to, no matter our economic status.

That's "Mayhem," of course.





Rob said:

I am certainly not in the 99% demographic, but my town borders another town that is HIGHLY upscale....Anyhow, while driving to several Dunkin Donuts (looking for one that was actually opened on Christmas morning); I drove through a very rich neighborhood and actually witnessed a luxury car with a bow on top. However, I don't think it was a Lexus...I think it was actually a Maserati...

I cannot believe I actually had seen that! I thought they were merely a ploy used in commercials...

Comment posted on December 27, 2011 12:48 AM

chris said:

@Rob-> To finish your closing sentence "...for unimaginative rich people to mimic."

Comment posted on January 1, 2012 9:25 PM
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