Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Advertising The Sailing Lifestyle. Part 1: Auto Pilot

Aaah this mythical world of sailing, this dream of the open water where adventure and leisure seem to collide perfectly. Nothing makes you feel more alive than the sun setting behind the main and tucking into the helm with the taste of salt water on your lips while the waves lap approvingly behind the stern. It's not easy to transmit such a euphoric feeling to those who have not experienced this, it's only once you are there does it all make sense. As modern humans we are easily lured in by what others are doing, the propaganda of keeping up with the Jonses is strong for sure and it's easy to fake happiness and freedom when we are required to. This is the reason that when you actually become swept up with something you truly enjoy, the experience feels so pure and special. There's nothing like the proud satisfying feeling of 'dude I'm actually doing this' , a feeling so meaningful that it makes you happy even when you aren't doing it yourself,  you see someone else having the experience and the vicarious passion is plenty fine. Looking at them smiling and thinking to yourself  'dude I totally know what that's like'.

When I was a little tyke, my dad's Sunday driver was a pale yellow 1957 MG Roadster convertible and mannn... did my family love that car. We'd cruise over the hill to Half Moon Bay for sandwiches on the beach and I felt so cool driving in the back seat with my brother's oversized ski-goggles stuck to my face and a braided Marathon Bar hanging out of my mouth. I remember one afternoon we were driving back home and another MG pulled up beside us, the same car but dark green. Naturally my dad and the other owner started quickly comparing notes like peacocks while we were at the stoplight, his wife smiled at my mom and they both kinda rolled their eyes. There was a kid in the back seat a few years older than me and we looked at each other just as the light turned green and they started rumbling away. He gave me the slickest knowing smile and a 'thumbs-up' and I did the same. The whole way home it felt so great, that little three second connection with my emotional co-pilot who I'd never see again. Our little transfer of 'cool' was all we needed. This is the same feeling I get when I'm out on a boat and I know I am not alone.

I've come to realize that the harmony between auto & boat and transportation in general is deeply linked. Those same feelings and desires for the open road and the open sea & sky have always been kindred spirits. I've been a collector of vintage magazines and ephemera ever since I can remember and it's fun to see how the lure of exploration and discovery has been illustrated over the years. I often raid my little archive for inspiration and not surprisingly my tastes seem to be dictated by what's happening in my life. When I had a Vespa it was the scooter stuff that jumped out at me, when I had my '54 Bel Air it was nothing but Chevy on my radar. Once Alberta started her 'Trip Out Tuesday' airline-themed parties we were obsessed with all things jet-age. And for the past several years my affinity has leaned toward the sailing and travel side of things.
So I decided that over the next few months I'll be sharing some of the things that I currently dig in the series 'Advertising The Sailing Lifestyle'.
Here's the first group I'm calling 'Auto-Pilot' ... car ads geared to the men and women who are chasing the dream of luxury and freedom just like all of the other Joneses, just like me and you.

1 comment:

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