Getting the accent right !


By Nick da Costa

Just doing a trawl through car websites and found this gem on Citroen’s. Call me pedantic, but if a French company can’t get the accent right on ‘premiere’, what hope is there? You have to believe the odd French Citroen exec might have glanced at the Brit website, but plainly not. Or maybe he or she spotted it and just gave a Gallic shrug of the shoulders (“They’re leaving, who cares?”).

Further proof that real copywriting died quite some time ago is also provided by Peugeot: “With its fluid and robust lines the all-new PEUGEOT 2008 SUV delivers masterful power and efficiency.” Plainly they will shortly be taken to some kind of Gender tribunal for ‘masterful’. That said, I’m not sure ‘mistressful’ quite does it either.

Just to continue the French-bashing, Renault offend with “Sporting an (sic) refreshed aggressive front grille, strong silhouette and sculpted lights, the KADJAR is designed for freedom, the likes (sic) of which you’ve never experienced before.” (Mis-spelling theirs, not mine). Not entirely sure how a strong silhouette, aggressive front grill and sculpted lines could possible contribute to my freedom in any way. And seriously, when at a dinner party and the talk gets round to cars, how could anyone with an ounce of self-worth or complete absence of irony pipe up with ‘I drive a Kadjar’?

To even-out the nations a bit, Hyundai super-annoy with “Born confident: You want a car that’s as confident as you are, that challenges the status quo, leads the pack and refuses to follow.” Seriously, is there anyone – anyone on the planet – who responds to this kind of drivel? I recall with nostalgia classic lines written by real copywriters, such as this headline for a BMW ad eons ago: “First we paint the car. Then we paint the paint.”


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