Yesterday Renault began a campaign to use social media as a way to promote its crossover, the Kadjar.
A fair amount of ink has been spilled about the name. What caught my attention was the slogan: “Dare to live”. The image shows someone hang-gliding on a lovely morning. That would be Renault´s idea of daring to live. Ignoring the fact that you don´t need a Renault Kadjar to take up hang-gliding and that having a Renault Kadjar will not make people think you hang-glide, there is the problem of the implications of the slogan. They are terrible.
Daring someone to live seems to hint that the target audience is not already doing so. Instead they are timidly sleep-walking through their time on earth, petrified to err in the slightest from the path set out by the rules and restrictions of society. That slogan is saying that buying a Renault Kadjar will lend to customers the necessary tools to smash down the walls that are imprisoning them. They will be able to step out from the shadows in which their futile existences are lived and emerge as heroic, empowered, existential giants suddenly free to do exactly, precisely what they want: hang-glide, leave the wife and kids, dump the dead end job at Corfe´s Office Supplies and instead set off to wander the world and indulge in all the pleasures the senses can offer: orgies, wanton crime, astonishing acts of courage, amazing creative endeavours perhaps. Maybe daring to live means taking up mind-altering drugs, joining a band or travelling to a warzone to fight for or against whoever they see fit. That´s daring to live. It means cutting the bonds that for better and worse join us to society. It means experiencing the bracing turmoil of true, unfettered indivuality, all the joyous highs and all the bruising lows too.
And all of this can be had by going to a Renault dealer and paying £20,000 for a five door, five-seat vehicle with a range of thrifty diesel and petrol engines. Bluetooth connectivity will allow the owners to stay fully in touch as they revel in the astonishing liberty the car has gained for them (what about the repayments though?).
What is sad about this slogan is that it just makes painfully evident that few of us dare to live in the existential sense; for those who really do go at life with that hell-raising carpe diem approach it means meeting a sticky end quite quickly. All Renault have done with this slogan is to remind most of us how small is our world and how few are our real life choices (Waitrose, Aldi, Lidl or Safeway, perhaps). The ad has drawn direct attention to the existential angst that bubbles under the surface of most normal people´s lives. Is this as good as it gets? This dreary, stressful and disappointing life? Answer: yes, buster. Nothing short of a miracle will change that for most of us. Certainly looking for material possessions is not the way forward as most people will agree (if not act on).
Maybe Renault ought to look up the word hyperbole in their dictionary.
Here´s what Renault said about the name, by the way:
- As the brand continues its offensive on the crossover market, Renault is pleased to present the KADJAR, its first C-segment crossover
- KADJAR is to be revealed via a social media campaign
A new name for a new crossover
The name KADJAR is built around KAD- and –JAR. KAD- is inspired by ‘quad’ – representing a go-anywhere four-wheeled vehicle and –JAR recalls the French words ‘agile’ and ‘jaillir’ representing agility and suddenly emerging from somewhere. The sound and spelling of the name have an exotic feel which suggests adventure and discovering new horizons.
The initial letter ‘K’ is indicative of the model’s robustness and the KADJAR fits seamlessly with Renault’s existing B-segment crossover – Captur.