Tuesday, October 10, 2006

chevrolet - teh american revolution

so i just caught this commercial for chevrolet that featured their new line of gas-conserving cars; said commercial prompted me to visit their website for more info.

the site name? reduce ur use dot com.

i'll admit that i've seen my share of advertisements that use language from straight out the chatroom, but never ones that didn't have an explicit connection to internet, computer, or gamer culture. is the environmental awareness angle that chevrolet's going for somehow being tied to a young, hip attitude that they also see as tied into the internet? and if they were going to dip into the pool of online language, why pick a stigmatized feature like ur to take that stance?

Two comments - well, one is more like a question. Question: is it possible that UR also stands for something that I don't know about, such that it's a pun both on the CMC "ur" and whatever UR stands for in the automobile induustry world?

Comment - this is just really messy. I am getting it confused when I look at it with "reduce reuse", as in "recycle reduce reuse," that ol' slogan. But in terms of choosing a stigmatized form, maybe this means it's not so stigmatized anymore? And/or it is being appropriated by the mainstream, and its efficacy is contingent upon its stigmatization (I'm thinking of interpolations of nonstandard dialect features in order to sell things or seem "hip")?

(Also - "gas pumps hate us"? O-kaaay. Actually this could also be seen as hip/slangy. Talking about inanimate things "hating" you is kind of hot right now..."My computer hates me" etc.)
I noticed this commercial, as well. The 'ur' stuck out at me like a sore thumb, so I started putting sensible stories together in my mind (reduceyouruse.com was taken, the commercial had been haxxed, etc.) But no, I think you're on to something there about perceptions of the 'young, hip' culture and the internet. Maybe they're thinking "we're starting a new website, so we want to speak their secret code language" and basically just getting it wrong.
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