Want to Be Possessed by Your Possessions? Jaguar Thinks You Do

by Katy on November 26, 2011 · 22 comments

I am as likely to want to be possessed by a 2011 Jaguar as I am by my 1997 Subaru.

So there I was, cooking up a storm on Thanksgiving. I had no adult company, so I set up a Pandora computer radio station based on the musical stylings of the 80’s band Squeeze. I was Pulling Mussels from a Shell like nobody’s business while assembling all the last minute dishes for our delicious feast.

And then I heard it, an advertisement for the new Jaguar, which begged the question:

“When was the last time a possession possessed you?”

Seriously, this is their ad campaign? Who in their right mind wants to be possessed by their possessions?! Even the kind of conspicuous consumer this ad is targeted towards would surely be turned off by this campaign. Right? Please?

If nothing, this ad should prove to solidify people’s beliefs that do not want to be beholden to their stuff.

So, I guess what I’m trying to say here is:

“Thanks, Jaguar — it’s always good to have a reminder that possessions are nothing more than things. And that no, I would prefer to not be possessed by them.”

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 22 comments… read them below or add one }

Cate November 26, 2011 at 11:44 am

Sounds a bit too close to “Christine” for me. No thanks!


Megyn @Minimalist Mommi November 26, 2011 at 11:50 am

I’d much rather be possessed by a REAL jaguar. Think of how high you could jump & how fast you could run! Just sayin…


Kris2 November 28, 2011 at 11:55 am

Yikes. I am in the library right now and that made me snicker out loud. Thankfully I am in one of the little alcoves vs the library at large. It was quite a loud snicker..lol


Laura's Last Ditch--Adventures in Thrift Land November 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

Disgusting, really. I’m always a little mystified by people who think it’s important to have expensive cars. Good grief, it doesn’t do much a regular car doesn’t do. The only statement it makes, I think, is that you are not a good steward of your money.


Stephanie November 27, 2011 at 6:09 am

My MIL and I were talking about this very topic over the past few days. We both believe in being good stewards of your money, and definitely think you should live within the means you’ve been given. And while you would never catch me dropping $70K on a car (almost as much as my first house!), I think that those who have been blessed with great monetary wealth have every right to purchase a ridiculously expensive car… just so long as they are doing good things with their money as well. We all splurge on something every now and then – and if they can fit it into their budget, then why not? A $70K car to their bank roll might be the same as a pedicure to mine!


Ellie November 27, 2011 at 8:34 am

Personally, I often tend to have negative reactions to people driving expensive cars, because what I tend to think about them is “Oh look – a vain, materialistic person who thinks that spending a bunch of money on a car makes them look cool and sophisticated, but really, it just makes me think they’re immature and shallow and have bad values.”

To be fair, the one exception I would make is for someone who really, truly cared about automotive performance, really knew their stuff about cars, and, like you said, had the ability to afford the car they bought. If cars are really, truly your “thing”, and you truly get enjoyment from the performance of a certain kind of vehicle, I can understand why (IF you can afford it), you would buy a pricey car. It’s no crazier than an art expert owning some expensive art they really enjoy, a horse-lover spending money on the pleasure of owning a horse, a serious chef owning a high-end stove, a serious pilot buying a plane, or a person who’s really into a sport buying top-notch sports equipment, etc….if you can afford it, there is a certain context in which I can appreciate why people would drop a ton of money to own expensive, top-of-the-line stuff.

The problem I have is that I think the overwhelming majority of people who spend tons of money on high-end posessions do it for all the wrong reasons – they buy the stuff to show off, not because they really care about driving/cooking/art/a particular sport/whatever.


Marla November 27, 2011 at 2:52 pm

I collect expensive fountain pens. I live very frugally, but I like to spend my hard earned money on pens that can cost $2,500 or more. I use them at home, for the pleasure of their look and feel, but not in public because I am afraid of losing them. To me, it is no different than collecting fine art, only more useful. When my grandmother was 88, she won a very, very high end car. Grandma worked her entire life as a seamstress, never spending much and always giving to her church and charities. It was the only luxury she ever had and that silly auto made her smile the last few years of her life. Instead of thinking that those who have money or the circumstances and elect to indulge themselves as they wish must adhere to your moral imperatives, perhaps you should reconsider your own shallow judgements or spend some time contemplating why you feel compelled to judge anyone for anything that is none of your business.


Ellie November 28, 2011 at 7:11 am

Wow, you seem to have really mis-read my comment (or maybe not read all of it?).

My whole point was that I think spending money on stuff you really CARE about is fine – as long as you can afford it, living frugally but collecting expensive fountain pens (or whatever) that you really ENJOY is exactly the sort of “high-end” purchase that I have no problem with. I also had no problem with an ex-boyfriend’s expensive sports car – because the guy just loved cars, knew all about them, and really enjoyed high-performance driving. A friend of mine is a life-long horse love who is “horse-poor” because she spends all of her discretionary income on a beautiful, well-trained quarter horse – hardly a necessary indulgence, but to her, the horse brings great joy. Ditto my art-loving friends with expensive art, my cousin who’s a serious amateur musician and owns a very expensive violin, and the co-worker with a decades-long passion for biking who owned one very pricey bike despite having a very low income and living a super-frugal life otherwise. I even have one friend who has very little income but spends a lot of time on his computer – his top-of-the line computer makes sense for him. What all of these people have in common is that they are NOT spending money to show off, or buying something because it’s “trendy”, or trying to “keep up with” anyone. They all own these things because they truly appreciate and enjoy them. They know all about WHY these expensive things are good, well-made/well-designed things, and the “extra” quality is something that they can actualy USE. (A high-quality violin makes a difference to serious musician; it doesn not make a difference to someone learning to play scales.)

As for why I tend to judge people with lots of expensive posessions negatively, the answer is very simple. I was a schoalrship student at a welathy school, and I spent a lot of time around a of people who owned expensive posessions BECAUSE THEY WERE EXPENSIVE. The school was full of people (parents and students) who bought expensive things just to HAVE them. They drove expensive cars even thought they knew nothing about cars or performance (and of course, they all drove the same ones – whatever was trendy that year). They owned art that thier dealers told them to “invest in” even though they knew nothing of art, had never taken an art class or an art history course, and seemed to have no real appreciation for the skill it represented. They shopped at the “trendy”, pricey stores because they were trendy and pricey and exclusive – and as soon as the trends changed, they discarded their expensive wardrobes and bought new ones (this is very different from true fashion-lover, who might spend money to have a truly unique style). They acquired pure-bred pets because they were supposed to be “better”, somehow, than mutts from the shelter. I even know one woman who bought a bunch of expensive horses because she thought it would be “cool” to own a bunch of pure-bred Arabian horses – even though she barely rode and had little experience with horses. (She wound up selling them in a few years, after she got bored and tired of the suprising-to-her amount of work horses actually entail.) And don’t even get me started on people who bought tons of top-of-the line sports or hobby equipment for a “new” sport or hobby they were just trying out, and didn’t stick with. You’re entitled to think all of this is fine, but the fact is, I do judge this sort of behavior negatively – as far as I’m concerned, it represents a great deal that is wrong with our culture, period.

Yes, I know that for every however many people who buy an expensive “whatever” to show off, there is one person who buys it because it means something to them – it’s a passion or a hobby and owning that “whatever” isn’t really about “owning” it because it’s expensive/trendy/exclusive, but is actually about enjoying it, enhancing their hobby, appreciating the skill and design that went into it, and having the ability to make the most of its quality. But I’ve just seen way to much of the former to assume that most people with a super-expensive “whatever” (especially when they have lots and lots of expensive “whatevers”) bought it because they really actually cared about “whatever”, and not just about “what is expensive and trendy that will make me look cool.”

jan November 26, 2011 at 4:02 pm

Heard one of the guys on one of the morning shows this morning –maybe good morning America call it an “orgy of capitalism.” How right he called it.


Christa aka the BabbyMama November 26, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Maybe it’s just me, but the whole sentiment behind the ad strikes me as… kind of creepy, actually.


Kristin @ KlingtoCash November 26, 2011 at 7:41 pm

Wow. Who thought that commercial was a good idea? I can’t believe this would appeal to people.


Megg November 29, 2011 at 9:29 am

I know! The sad thing is that I think it DOES appeal to people.


AnnW November 26, 2011 at 7:52 pm

I think they are so desperate that they don’t even know who their customers are. After 2008, Lehman Brothers, and all the layoffs, who really cares What Kind of Car they drive? And, most people certainly wouldn’t spend $70,000 for one.


Shelley November 27, 2011 at 4:33 am

That is a peculiar ad. Slightly creepy, even.


That Other Jean November 27, 2011 at 6:39 am

Really, the people who find this ad off-putting aren’t its target audience. If you think in advance about how you spend your money, you’re not likely to be buying a Jaguar.


Dogs or Dollars November 27, 2011 at 7:16 am

Agree with That Other Jean. We certainly aren’t its target audience. I think the idea is that Jaguars are so effortlessly cool, sophisticated, smart, stylish, if you buy one, and it possesses you, you will magically, effortlessly also be all these things. For the bargain basement price of a mere 70K. Bargain!


Jo@simplybeingmum November 28, 2011 at 1:49 am

I reckon I’m turning into a grumpy old woman – I can’t watch adverts without grumbling anymore. We have one in the UK (selling air-freshener) that goes – I quote “Are you disappointed when you stop noticing your plug-in?”… I had to google to get exact wording, and when I did I noticed others found the ad ‘brain numbingly rubbish’. And don’t even get me started on toothpaste ads…


Lisa Under the Redwoods November 28, 2011 at 5:16 am

If you buy a Jag and can’t really afford it, it will possess you. The monthly payment will constantly be on your mind, the repair bills and insurance will keep you up at night.


Linda November 28, 2011 at 7:02 am

Not for me but my husband collects cars. He loves old cars and he would rather invest in an old car that will keep its value than a new car which loses value the minute you drive it off the lot.

I myself just use my car for transporation. I have a small, economy car that is new (1 year old). I bought it a month ago and love it because I know I will not break down at night. I work nights and drive sometimes far to work. Good gas milage and only 6000 miles. I will probably drive it 250K miles. My last car had 200K miles on it.

My husband loves cars. He did not pay much for his last car, but it’s a sports car and he loves it. He has several old cars (one that he bought for $500 over 35 years ago), another that he had for 27 years, another he had for 29 years. We could sell them for much more than we have put into the cars. He does not want to sell them because he likes to drive them. He drives them to work and just enjoys them. The cars do not own him…he owns them and enjoys them. We built a barn to house all the cars and he loves his barn too! It’s like his man-cave.


Kris2 November 28, 2011 at 12:17 pm

When my aunt’s fiance died many years ago, one of the things he left her was his beloved Jag. He LOVED that car and it was difficult for her to donate it to charity because of the emotions associated with it, but in the end she did have to donate it. The car broke down so often that she couldn’t afford to maintain it and it ended up sitting in her garage for over a year while her own car sat in the driveway.

I guess my viewpoint is if you can afford it then it isn’t my business. I mean afford it, not put your family at risk w/o health, life insurance, etc. I mean if you can truly afford it and if it is a real passion.

The car is pretty, but pretty isn’t enough for spend that kind of money in my lifestyle. My indulgence is collecting pottery from artists in my state. I purchased an 80.00 pottery vase two months ago when I saw it sitting in the sunlight in the center of a gift shop state artists display.

It drew me like a tractor beam. I fell in love with it. It was bizarre, but I knew I needed to leave with that vase. It was an affordable luxury and I look at it every single day as it sits on my kitchen table and it makes me happy. When I go into my dining room and look at the pottery I have collected so far, the beauty and the story behind each piece just makes me squishy in a happy way. It is the same reason I collect antique books and simple prairie antiques(I mean pitchers, traps, utensils, etc). It is a special thing to read and touch something that I know was a precious possession(particularly books) over 100 years ago.

I can’t remember the exact saying , but there was a bumper sticker I saw about possessions possessing you. Most people buy expensive toys on credit with big payments. Then they have to work overtime, etc to make those payments and that leaves no time to go boating or four wheeling or camping in a big rv. Is it worth it in the end? You have to work extremely hard to pay for the toys, but because you work so hard, you don’t have any time to use them. Seems wacky when you think about it.


Megg November 29, 2011 at 9:30 am

That’s so sad and disturbing on so many levels 🙁


oldboyscout2 December 3, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Ellie , You have total truth going for you. Just to pick a nit; the violin could be considered an investment rather than a consumer goodie.


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