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Mediocrity Hits The Road

Have you bought your 2011 Mediocrity yet? It's that utterly forgettable sedan that's available in beige only. There's been real cyber-buzz about it recently. In fact, word on the street is that sales are... non-existent. At least that's the word from Subaru , which has created a new (mostly online) and completely fake advertising campaign.

For years Subaru has cultivated its image as the go-to brand for non-conforming, free spirited outdoor enthusiasts. Its kayak-toting, mountain climbing, status quo-rebellious owners have traditionally envisioned themselves as untraditional, and as consumers who stand apart from typical car owners. John Chaber, a service advisor at Colonial Subaru in Danbury, chuckled at the mention of the "Mediocrity" campaign, but then offered some serious philosophical insight to the company. "From working at Subaru over the years I've learned that other cars in that class have become very bland, with nothing that really stands out. Subaru definitely offers products that are different from competitors."

Subaru is capitalizing on those differences, and on its buyer's sense of irony. Or sarcasm. Or maybe a little of both. But it's definitely counting on its customer having a sense of humor. The "Mediocrity" website is designed to be boring. And it works. In fact the dullness of the car and its descriptions are outmatched only by the profusions of shades of beige in which it's allegedly available.

The website includes a quiz designed to test users' compatibility with the Mediocrity. Among the multiple choice questions: "I think it would be fun to: A. Jump out of an airplane B. Weave a basket or two" and, "I would like to be a professional: A. Volcano Diver B. Burlap Sack Manufacturer." If the quiz-taker chooses the more prosaic answers and responds positively to burlap sack manufacturing, the site provides the following accolade: "Congratulations, our testing shows that the 2011 Mediocrity is the perfect car for you."

If, however, you choose the more action-packed answers, the site gives you another option in the form of a link: "Click here to breathe some excitement into your life." That click will lead the user to the real -- and decidedly more vibrant -- Subaru website, replete with thrill-seeking drivers in exciting looking cars.

The user who fails the test is told: "Unfortunately, the testing results show that you are not mediocre enough for the 2011 Mediocrity. We suggest the following tips to help take your mediocrity up a notch: Prune a Shrub, Stop Using Exclamation Points, Buy a Rock Tumbler, Detangle a Garden Hose." Or, it suggests, the reader might contemplate buying a "real" Subaru.

But the high score for cleverness goes to Subaru. With all the interest they're generating from the 2011 Mediocrity, they might want to consider selling a few.

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