Friday, 18 May 2007
Alfa Romeo 159
I’ve just seen a television advertisement for the Alfa Romeo 159 Q4. It didn’t immediately grab my attention but I had to take notice because of the strange contrast it offered. You would expect the advert for a sports saloon to show the car charging along deserted roads, flying round corners and generally looking dramatic. For an Alfa the soundtrack would probably be engine noise although for less musical cars some dramatic music would be substituted. Advertising guidelines forbid anything that would glamorise speed, performance and reckless driving; you can’t tell the truth that a performance car is quick. Instead the driving is shown in slow motion and the only sound is voices of people justifying why they bought one. Reasons given include, “Four wheel drive” and “Torsen differential” but an on screen caption suggests people are lying. The tag line is that they bought the Q4 simply because it is an Alfa Romeo. It struck me as an interesting and clever way to communicate the car’s features and virtues. It seemed oddly old fashioned to hear about the car’s specification in an advertisement. Now if the 159 can combine old-fashioned Alfa virtues with modern standards of reliability, durability and ergonomics then it deserves every success.