Like a sad teenager who posts a status on Facebook in an effort to garner more likes, it seems Aston Martin needs some sort of social media validation. And to celebrate the frivolity of a million people (1,703,544 “likes,” as of this writing) clicking a single button on its Facebook page to indicate their ephemeral preference for a luxury brand, it’s gone and asked its fans to build its ideal Aston Martin.
And Facebook, you have spoken: According to Aston Martin’s PR machine, Facebook most wants a Smurf-blue Aston Martin DB9 with catfish whiskers blowing freely down the side and a white-ovaled grille that seems to recall a particularly thick milk mustache. It’s called the “Aero” wrap, but it conjures less images of wind tunnel precision and more of a car that has driven through a rose bush. And some enterprising fellow scrawled “PASSION SHOULD BE SHARED” across the hood, which we like to imagine is a nod towards Jenny Holzer’s BMW art car.
Reaction is mixed. “The world’s most expensive sports shoe,” says one fan. “Does it really need ‘go faster’ stripes? They make it look tacky. Should’ve called it DB9 CHAV,” says a Britisher. “This is the same colour as my first car ’92 Vauxhall Nova,” writes in another caller. “Any sugar daddies wanna oblige?” says a charming young lady. “Right on time to for the Puerto Rican Day Parade in Chicago!” says one forward-thinker. “Those Facebook “fans” should be run over by this,” says another charmer. “Juste pour le plaisir des yeux,” says yet another. And so on, and so forth.
Still, one million fans does not overnight success make. Does a brand like Aston Martin really, truly need Facebook likes to validate its existence? It’s Aston Martin. It’s already got the desirable luxury good segment locked down pretty well. The boys from Gaydon aren’t going to jump a DB9 over a comically oversized skateboard. They don’t need to. And engaging the sort of pre-teen and mid-20s Facebook fans that won’t buy an Aston Martin because they don’t have the money, or somehow scraped together the cash from their parents and will have bought an Aston Martin already, is going to matter even less for the storied luxury brand than most car companies in general. Call me crotchety, but if today’s youth was still working in the salt mines, they wouldn’t have time to waste on this “book of faces” thing anyway.
Remember: lack of charisma can be fatal.