In Your Dreams Demographics: What car ads would tell the non-BMW crowd if honesty was the best sales policy. Fasten your seat belt.

September 07, 1996

If there's anything most of us resent, it's ads for cool stuff we can't afford, like vacations to the South Seas or, say, the rent. But there should be a separate classification for those BMW ads, which run in your tonier magazines and speak this message: If you want to appear rich and also cool, buy a Beamer.

The ad offers 20 things you should do in this lifetime, the 20th being to buy a BMW. (A friend says his 20th would be to slash the tires of a BMW.) The ad writers know their audience. The 20 suggestions include riding a Gondola down the Grand Canal in Venice, flying the Concorde, playing the Old Course at St. Andrews and watching the sun rise over the ruins of Machu Picchu (don't look it up; it's in Peru).

A few of us, sitting around on a rainy afternoon, wondered how the ad boys would sell some other cars. We came up with five lifetime ambitions for each:


L 1. Be the smiling "after" picture in a Hair Club for Men ad.

2. Squeeze into that nifty pair of lime-green Sansabelt slacks you wore to your 10-year high school reunion.

3. Lobby your gym to move the StairMasters so you can leer at the 9 a.m. aerobics class.

4. Order in Chinese and dial 1-900-NYMPHOS.

5. Date an actual woman.


1. Join Ron Smith's accessible MRI car pool.

2. Seize control of the swim club's membership committee.

3. See your kid get into Gilman.

4. See your neighbor's kid get into Boys Latin.

5. Compare tan lines with Sally Thorner.


1. Get the fleece-lined duck boots from L.L. Bean's.

2. Brew latte over a can of Sterno.

3. Buy the fully-loaded "Kurt L. Schmoke Package" '97 Laredo.

L 4. Barrel over speed bumps at the Towson Town Center garage.

5. Scale Federal Hill.


1. See the sun rise over the ruins of Sparrows Point shipyard.

2. Buy a suit off the rack at J.C. Penney's.

3. Lay a sawbuck on the hostess for a window table at TGI Fridays.

4. Finish your cosmetology degree.

5. Meet Larry Storch.


1) Visit the country your ancestors called home.

2) Leave a dollar where a kid will find it.

3) Fly over the Grand Canyon in a helicopter.

4) Lend money to a friend without expecting it back.

5) Have a suit made by a Saville Row tailor.

6) Ride in a gondola down the Grand Canal in Venice.

7) Teach a class.

8) See the sun rise over the ruins at Machu Picchu.

9) Plant a tree.

10) Fly on the Concorde.

11) Stand on the Great Wall.

12) Make your own beer.

13) See an opera at La Scala in Milan.

14) Learn to speak French.

15) Take a balloon ride over the Serengeti.

16) Hang up on a lawyer.

17) Kiss someone passionately in public.

18) Play the Old Course at St. Andrews.

19) Shoot the rapids on the Snake River in Idaho.


Pub Date: 9/07/96

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