It’s hard to believe the following isn’t parody.
The Scion story is interesting. Toyota’s customer base is aging rapidly and their cars don’t appeal to the twenty-somethings depicted in the VW and Mitsubishi ads.
Apparently, these new cars are inexpensive and designed to be cheaply customized. This is a great concept, but the way that they explain it on their site is remarkable for its obscurity.
The overall theme of the site is clumsy double-think: don’t confuse your identity with brands (“In this brand-heavy world…We want to be recognized as unique beings who revel in the freedom of expression. “) and instead express yourself by customizing your Scion ( “the re-appropriation of mass culture…the challenge and the successes of keeping it real”):
In this brand-heavy world,we are constantly inundated with messages about what to wear, where to go and how to be. However,we know that independent thought doesn’t come from picking and choosing an identity from a series of prefab selections. Although we may like some of the individual elements of what’s available, on the whole we would rather be able to mix and match, choose those pieces that support our distinct qualities as independent creatures. We want to be recognized as unique beings who revel in the freedom of expression. SCION (the car company and the magazine) recognizes the value of the individual and the remix, the re-appropriation of mass culture, and it will focus on the struggle, the challenge and the successes of keeping it real.
The idea of the remix has become more common and now can be applied to entire identities, from music to fashion, from technology to art. The lines have been blurred. The opportunity for independence is vital. We are now active participants in the process, tricking out the smallest details, tweaking the characteristics to fit our lifestyles. By changing color palettes, textures and soundscapes, we can be recognized by our peers for who and what we are.
The tragic truth is that modern popular culture is indeed about keeping it real by wearing, drinking and driving what the cool kids are wearing, drinking, and driving.