I assume our audience is at least 97% human, so an awful lot of our content is targeted at that demographic. My apologies, super-intelligent mollusks and crows and the occasional alien. And, as humans, one of the most visually arresting images you can throw at us is a human face. Mercury was clearly going for that here, and then played it safe by throwing in a feline face, too, but what’s notable here is how strange that expression on that woman’s face is. Oh, and then in this brochure I learned something fascinating, too.
First, though, let’s address that top picture. I love the half-ass way the photo compositor tried to imply that oddly-stunned-looking woman has that cougar on a chain. It’s a picture, was it that important to have the chain in there? Unless that’s part of the desired imagery, that a Cougar driver has control of all that pent-up cougar power?
That facial expression just kind of creeps me out; I assume someone told the woman to look sexy, but I’ve rarely seen a more vacant look; the slack jaw, dead eyes – it’s like someone in a trance. It’s creepy.
But! That’s okay, because look at that roof! What do you see? Here’s a close-up of that A-pillar:
See that? Also that woman has a much more engaging expression going on, too. She’s looking at you, and seems to have thoughts happening, about things or ideas, and you could probably get her to react to you without having to clap your hands inches from her face. But back to that roof: it’s houndstooth!
Yes, in 1970, Mercury offered a houndstooth roof, on the cleverly-named Houndstooth Cougar. It’s so cool! If you’re going to cover your roof in vinyl, why not do it in something cooler than a fake leather look? I kind of love this idea.
Also, looks like that cougar is always leashed in these ads. Safety first, I guess?