Home » This Indian-Market Brochure For The New MG Comet EV Is Concentrated Cringe Injected Right Into Your Brain

This Indian-Market Brochure For The New MG Comet EV Is Concentrated Cringe Injected Right Into Your Brain

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I’ve always really loved the Indian car market. It has a really demanding set of requirements for success in the home market, including rough road conditions, expectations that vehicles will be overloaded and overworked, and they have to generally be affordable and rugged. The result is often a lot of innovative thinking and interesting solutions. I think this new MG Comet EV is a result of that, and even though MG is a brand owned by the Chinese company SAIC-GM-Wuling and appears to be a re-badged and re-designed Wuling Air EV, the little boxy car does seem like an EV that should be well-suited to the Indian market, at least in the urban areas. What’s less well-suited to the Indian market is the marketing for the MG Comet EV, especially this brochure, because the Indian market is made up of human beings capable of reading words, seeing pictures, rolling their eyes, and possibly vomiting. It’s just so, oh god, so embarassing, and it’s trying so very, very, very hard, like the amount you’d be trying to pull yourself up onto a ledge if you were dangling off the side of a skyscraper, but instead of desperate gripping and clawing and climbing, it’s trying to sound cool to a bunch of Gen Z kids who are not gonna have it.

Now, I’m going to be perhaps a little harsh on the way this little EV is marketed, but I do want to say that overall this looks like a pretty cool little EV, and is precisely the sort of EV that I think the world – not just India, I mean America, too – needs right now. It’s priced at about $9,760 in American paper money, it seats four, makes a city-car-reasonable 40 hp, can go 143 miles on a charge (which is not only great for something that will be primarily a city car, but if each mile were a kilobyte, would be the capacity of an original Apple II floppy disk), has a 17.3 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, and can support Android Auto and Apple Car Play, something your fancy-ass Tesla can’t do out of the box.

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Specs1

The truth is that a car like this would cover a huge percentage of your day-to-day driving needs (I know because I’ve done a lot more with a lot less) and makes a hell of a lot more sense than hauling around some massive, heavy battery whose full capabilities you only push a few times a year. I think this MG Comet EV has some real potential, which is partially why this painful marketing campaign is so tragic as well as funny. Hopefully, it won’t dissuade too many members of its laser-targeted Gen Z market, who hopefully can look past the pandering and see the good idea underneath it all.

Now, though, let’s get to the pandering! Though, I should put a qualifier here, because while I’m going to be making fun of this brochure, it should be clear that I am a painfully old man, and the most up-to-date slang I use references our nation’s robust telegraph network and probably Pet Rocks and shit. I’m approaching this not as a member of the desired target market of this car, but as a cranky old bastard hoping to squeeze a bit of joy at the expense of some probably well-meaning marketing people just trying to do their fucking jobs, already. That’ll teach them to want to sell cars!

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We know we’re in for some fun starting with the cover:

Bro0 Skateboard

Alright, we have the car in a fantastic green, some happy Gen Z kids awkwardly gesturing at one another or attempting to climb out a window, and that’s all fine. What drives me nuts is the skateboard. Yes, the fucking skateboard. I’m not exactly sure exactly when a skateboard became the lazy, default signifier of Cool Kid Youth Culture, but it sure as hell has. Does it go all the way back to Bart Simpson? Of course, that trope had to exist to be part of that in the first place, but is that the start of the universality of this? Maybe. I don’t know. What I do know is in this instance it looks like it was just rolled into that scene with the MG as an afterthought, like someone realized at the last minute “oh, shit! These are supposed to be cool kids! Where’s the fucking skateboard?” and then slid it into the shot, moments before that shutter clicked.

It doesn’t even look like it belongs to any of the people in the picture? It’s just there, to check a box, skateboard, got it. I’m surprised there aren’t some Beats by Dre headphones on the grass there, too.

Maybe it’s a size comparison? So you can say, oh, damn, that MG looks a lot roomier than my skateboard!

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Bro1

Look, I like all the colors and I think the decals on the car are just fine, this is the sort of car to have fun with, so go nuts. But they copy, oy, it’s so cloying. “Keep it real” causes one pang, and then the “cutting the crap” line feels like something that would be delivered, a bit too loudly and with a bit too much swagger, by a cool youth deacon seconds after he plops down onto a folding chair he’s just turned backwards. And, if you listen carefully, you can hear that “crap” is pronounced like “cr*p.”

Plus the main tagline of “Presenting The New Age Urban Mobility Solution” has the same sort of gentrifier trying-too-hard feel to it as one of those “Urban Taco Fabricator” restaurants that put some old family-owned taquerias out of business.

Bro2

This page, though, oh boy. Picking tribes, fam, flex, main character energy, woke, legit, vibe-check, and, of course, slaps all make an appearance here, all on the same page, like the writers printed out as many Tik-Tok screenshots as they could, puréed it in a Vitamix, chugged it, and then turned whatever they puked back out into ad copy. It’s dizzying. And someone told that model to make that face and that gesture. Is it possible not to make fun of this? I don’t think it is, at least it wasn’t in our Slack channel:

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Kidfingers

What is that, exactly? Is it tough? Is it cool? Is whatever is going on there somehow the feeling generated by that car? This just feels like the skateboard all over again. Someone saw people looking kind of like that, doing something like that with their hands, so that’s good enough, it’s in, it’s selling cars!

Slang All the slangiest slang they could slang, all the time, slaying FTW for your tribe, or whatever. They do hedge their bets a bit, making sure that if you’re not as cool as the potential buyers of an MG Comet EV, they’re happy to clue you in on the secret lingo:

Bro3 Fomo

See! FOMO means “fear of missing out!” The other page did the same thing for FTW, which they helpfully explain as meaning “Flog That Walrus.” No, no, I’m kidding, they got it right.

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I’m being a little harsh, here. Almost every carmaker is guilty of this kind of pandering to whatever the current youngest car-buying generation is doing. Hell, Toyota based their whole Scion sub-brand on embarrassing bullshit like this, and let’s not let Kia off the hook, who committed the cardinal sin of youth pandering by making animals rap:

Besides, I wasn’t kidding when I was saying that little, cheap EVs like this are exactly the sorts of cars that need to happen. And they should be fun, because why the hell not? A rational car design doesn’t have to be boring, so if they want to offer all kinds of sticker kits, even if they have eye-rolling names, who cares?

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FuzzyPlushroom
FuzzyPlushroom
9 months ago

This reads like it was written by a dad trying his hardest to embarrass his middle-schooler. I suppose Torch would know more about that than I would.

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson
9 months ago

I’m more offended by the MG badge being slapped on this thing. At least the MG Metro had added power over the base Austins.

Martin Witkosky
Martin Witkosky
9 months ago

Wish I could upvote this eleventy billion times. Cecil Kimber should be rolling over in his grave. Didn’t know MG Motor India Private Limited was a subsidiary of SAIC Motors, and they appear to make totally boring CUVs with the MG name. About as un-MG a thing as possible. The complete antithesis of a sporting automobile. What a way to throw a company name into the trash bin.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago

Yeah, after being assaulted by the copy, I looked at the car-and was immediately saddened by the MG sticker.

Yes, it makes sense: no badge to install means cheaper manufacturing-and this isn’t for those who owned chrome-bumpered roadsters, but still sad

Itslucien
Itslucien
9 months ago

I don’t know how companies always think they can appeal to Gen Z by slapping random slang terms and AAVE together

SCJeff
SCJeff
9 months ago

Can’t believe I never saw that Kia ad before…..I kinda like it.

Highland Green Miata
Highland Green Miata
9 months ago
Reply to  SCJeff

Is the toaster reference in there a dig at the Scion xB?

SCJeff
SCJeff
9 months ago

I think the toaster and washing machine were references as other cars being “appliances”.

Data
Data
9 months ago

Space (stickers), the final frontier. These are the voyages of the MG Comet EV. It’s continuing mission: to sell cars to the masses. To find hip young buyers. To boldly go where no ad copy has gone before!

OnlyFlans
OnlyFlans
9 months ago

And just like with Scion and the Kia Soul, the primary buyers will instead be frumpy old divorcees in their mid-50’s.

Chris D
Chris D
9 months ago
Reply to  OnlyFlans

I know one Kia Soul buyer who exactly fits your description.

The tone and vocabulary of the promotional materials are designed to distract the possible buyers from the fact that this is just a tinny Chinese EV with 12 inch wheels and that buying it is probably about as smart a decision as picking up the vaping habit.

Trecoolx
Trecoolx
9 months ago

Whoever made this is cheugy.

Zeppelopod
Zeppelopod
9 months ago
Reply to  Trecoolx

I learned that word through a godforsaken pokemon game and that’s when I knew it was all over for me.

James Kohler
James Kohler
9 months ago

The sad thing is that because it is so incredibly cringe, it actually makes me want it. Like those movies that are so bad they are good. We’ve seen something similar with people (namely Elon Musk) taking to the doge meme. We laugh at it, but these folks are marketing geniuses in a strange lopsided way. I’d get one of those sticker kits if it had G. A. A. V. on it. Go ahead and guess what that stands for.

Last edited 9 months ago by James Kohler
MaximillianMeen
MaximillianMeen
9 months ago
Reply to  James Kohler

You underestimate us. Get An Acidic Vasectomy. Duh.

James Kohler
James Kohler
9 months ago

It was Garbage Ass Appliance Vehicle. (I still kinda like it though? Maybe I’m still feeling nostalgic for the Element.)

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
9 months ago

Based marketers

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Freebased?

A. Barth
A. Barth
9 months ago

This marketing malarkey is clearly the most tragic tragedy ever to trag. However…

Is it possible the skateboard is [also] a reference to the architecture of the vehicle?

I don’t actually know how it’s built because every time I read some of the words a little bit more of my brain leaks out of my… uh… head-holes.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
9 months ago

I’d buy one. There’s nothing I like more than a practical, no frills car that makes me feel like I did when I was a kid and still fits within my fixed income. Now get off my lawn.

Harvey Park
Harvey Park
9 months ago

The Scorpion’s “Daddy doesn’t usually stop” still takes the cake IMO.

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
9 months ago
Reply to  Harvey Park

Simply calling the Scorpio ‘Big Daddy’ isn’t actually that unusual or weird in Indian English. But all the small text after that is just… ooof.

Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
9 months ago

Salty we’re gonna low key sleep on this brochure, dead a$$.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago

I love the random skateboard there, I don’t think any one object has had such a long run as a lazy prop for yute-oriented marketing, seriously, you can probably find examples from the 1970s. They’ve been half-assed marketing shorthand for “the kids” since Gen Z’s grandparents were kids

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Converse Chucks do a good job here too.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Those have been used that way since at least the 1940s!

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
9 months ago

So, I could be wrong, but the skateboard looks like it might be there to give a false sense of scale. The space in between the truck screws on the top of the skateboard deck would appear to indicate that this is a mini skateboard. I would guess this is about 12″ long, but a normal skateboard is about 30″. It doesn’t even look as long as the exposed part of the “coupon cutting guy’s” arm.

Ben
Ben
9 months ago

Between this and the Mahindra brochure from yesterday my cringe muscles are worn out.

Sklooner
Sklooner
9 months ago

I just read the brochure to myself using Ali-G’s voice

Shadeux
Shadeux
9 months ago

These things would sell like hotcakes in The Villages.
Which is nothing but old people, ironically.

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Shadeux

Just like the Soul, reaching for that younger audience, became a popular car among the budget-minded older set. My grandparents loved theirs, which was even in the Alien Green that was usually used in the ads.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago
Reply to  Drew

The Soul is also so easy to get into and out of, you know?

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Yeah, that was their main reason for picking it over some other budget car, but it was always funny to me that they got the color from the ads and that I saw more older people driving them than the demographic targeted with the ads.

Rad Barchetta
Rad Barchetta
9 months ago
Reply to  Drew

As did the Nissan Cube, Scion xB (well, all Scions really), the PT Cruiser, etc…

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Rad Barchetta

At least the PT Cruiser knew what the target demographic was. The Cube and xB similarly thought they could sell a useful vehicle that was easy to enter to a younger crowd, but I don’t remember them aggressively targeting the youths.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago
Reply to  Drew

Didn’t Chrysler original try to market the PT Cruiser to the 90s holdover grunge subculture? Seem to remember the early ads skewing that way, which were basically all the ads, because they mostly stopped promoting it ca 2002 and just made it for another decade

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

Shoot, I forgot about that. Yeah, even though they seemed built to try to grab some weird nostalgia, I think you are right that they pushed it to the grunge crowd as an alternative to the band van or whatever.

Phantom Pedal Syndrome
Phantom Pedal Syndrome
9 months ago

I’m gonna need some popcorn for this.

Tap-n-Die And Some WD-40
Tap-n-Die And Some WD-40
9 months ago

if each mile were a kilobyte, would be the capacity of an original Apple II floppy disk

This conversion should bother me, but it makes way too much sense. Unrelated: maybe I should also quit daydrinking blinker fluid.

Drew
Drew
9 months ago

They clearly did zero research beyond hearing some slang mentioned. You do not want to be displaying main character energy. I don’t care that there are a few folks out there trying to pretend that it’s good (oddly, some of the first results on google, which is probably where they got it), it’s not. Main character energy is acting like you’re the star and no one else matters.

Maybe I’m out of touch, and just thinking it’s the children who are wrong, but please do not strive to exhibit main character energy.

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
9 months ago
Reply to  Drew

As someone in this car’s target demographic, you are absolutely correct.

Stig's Cousin
Stig's Cousin
9 months ago

As someone who is above the age of this car’s target demographic, I can’t even tell if his comment is serious or satire.

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Stig's Cousin

Mostly serious, but also I recognize my status as an older demographic than targeted means I could be off-base. I am terminally online, and I know you never want to be the main character of the day on Reddit or Twitter. And people who think they are the main character are insufferable.

But I also have no idea what Tik-Tok folks are saying, so I am certainly old enough to be out of touch.

Palmetto Ranger
Palmetto Ranger
9 months ago

Is it extra or mid? Both? God, I am old.

David Tracy
David Tracy
9 months ago

Yeet

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

The Lord yeeteth, and the Lord yoinketh away.

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
9 months ago
Reply to  Drew

My daughter has informed me that the “opposite” of yeet is actually yoit, not yoink…

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Bendanzig

Huh. Language is always changing. I thought yoit was a synonym of yeet.

Bendanzig
Bendanzig
9 months ago
Reply to  Drew

I am fine with continuing to tell my daughter that all of the slang she uses is improper English, so the point is somewhat moot.
According to the urban dictionary your usage would be correct though, not hers. She says yeet is to throw something, but yoit is to yank or steal something by snatching. Now I am wondering if she is doing this on purpose to keep me confused. Ugh.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago
Reply to  Bendanzig
Drew
Drew
9 months ago

It’s extra mid. Or maybe mid extra.

Beer-light Guidance
Beer-light Guidance
9 months ago

Needs more Poochie.

Drew
Drew
9 months ago

His planet needed him and he died on his way back. They couldn’t get him.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
9 months ago
Boulevard_Yachtsman
Boulevard_Yachtsman
9 months ago

Came for this, I can go back to work now.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
9 months ago

He’s too busy hanging out in purgatory with Denver the Last Dinosaur

Drew
Drew
9 months ago
Reply to  Ranwhenparked

I will never forget the theme song (well, the chorus, at least) or remember a single plot line to that show.

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
9 months ago

Mood AF, fr fr, no cap, low key bro, rizz(?)

David Tracy
David Tracy
9 months ago

rizz?

Arch Duke Maxyenko
Arch Duke Maxyenko
9 months ago
Reply to  David Tracy

No fuckin clue what it means

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
9 months ago

Rizz basically means ‘game’, as in the ability to attract someone.

No, I have no idea where it came from.

MAX FRESH OFF
MAX FRESH OFF
9 months ago

It originated as a shortened form of the word “charisma” apparently

Joshua Christian
Joshua Christian
9 months ago
Reply to  MAX FRESH OFF

Oh my God, I see it! I still think it’s ridiculous, but can definitely see how it happened.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago

And betting things go down exactly like when Scion and Kia tried this too – boring adults with actual money end up being the ones purchasing said vehicle b/c they like its boring features of practicality and value, much to the chagrin of hip marketing consultant. And almost nobody buys the sticker kits.

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

I didn’t appreciate the Gen1 Scion xB till I got older. Then I wanted a hybrid version for even more practicality and value.

Jack Trade
Jack Trade
9 months ago
Reply to  Cheap Bastard

I wonder, at this point, if the marketers get that the people who buy these things buy them despite the ads, not b/c of them.

Sure, aim a vehicle at the youth market (stylish, bright colors and prime entertainment options, low price point, etc.) but pitch the ads at a slightly more adult level. Seems like they’d make it even easier for more potential buyers to pull the trigger.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
9 months ago
Reply to  Jack Trade

Different adds for different demographics: play up the practicality and simplicity for the older group-and definitely show them without the stickers. You certainly would need different (older) marketing wanks to write the copy.

(I apologize to any marketing people here. It’s one of the prejudices I’m still working on cause I see crap like above, and it just reinforces the Grrrr)

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