Why Want More When You can Have the Mediocrity Experience?


I even tried to customize my own with near zero options!

I just had to take a break from my busy proposals schedule to share this with you. This has to be the most meaningful viral marketing campaign I have ever seen because it hits so close to home to anyone who is in or interested in the creative field. I watched it twice just to absorb the content and laughed every time! Enjoy!



This quote is classic: “This car is an exact replica of another car!”
What would be interesting is that this becomes a guerilla movement, where buyers reject the over-styled, over-hyped, over-priced cars of today and just go for a functional solution. The “functional solution” space in the automobile industry is rarely explored as it is not as sexy, but it could be an innovative business possibility.
Check out the rest of the videos at their campaign site: 2011 Mediocrity. Oh man, now I really want one to trash and not care about getting dinks on the door!
Hat-tip to Alain for the link.

5 Comments
  • Jason Cooper

    October 22, 2010 at 12:05 am Reply

    Firstly, congratulations to Subaru for making a far more interesting marketing campaign than their actual product.
    In fact, it’s a real shame that the branding and philosophy for this mock brand ‘Mediocrity’ resonated with me emotionally far more than that of the Subaru brand. Just compare the two websites of the two. While the shades of brown may be to many’s taste the website as whole out-performs the actual Subaru website from a design point of view hands down.
    There’s a whole generation out there that’d like to see an end of the materialistic approach to vehicles that has been so prominent over the last 50 years. And I’m afraid the closest I’ve ever come to see a car company actually tap into this is from this fake brand, ‘Mediocrity’.

  • Lloyd Pennington

    October 30, 2010 at 5:34 pm Reply

    Fascinating! Aren’t the vast majority of products fulfilling the mediocrity business model? Isn’t that what consumers actually buy? Ask a psychologist about herding; they would perhaps claim that the 2011 Mediocrity is in fact the perfect design if the aim is to sell more. If the aim is to stimulate then ‘design’ has a place, but how many really want to be stimulated? How many iPhone’s are purchased because the consumer likes the design and how many where purchased because the consumer wants to be like everyone else?
    Most people like to feel they belong, like to feel safe and comfortable and respected for making the right decision. This piece of marketing is in fact using the nature of herding to push people towards an existing product by creating the false notion that the herd is heading in the wrong direction. It’s trying to say that if you want to be considered a part of the smart, cool or ‘different’ herd, then please move along to this pen… which is in reality just as equally mediocre.

  • Design Translator

    November 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm Reply

    @Jason: Sorry for the late reply, and that was a real LMAO comment and so very true. At least you got to hand it to them for giving it a try to re-position their brand.
    @Llyod: Good to see you here, and also sorry for the late reply. Indeed it is products of mediocrity have long been the mainstay of industrial design, a victim of a process and brief that involves higher volumes and market shares.
    I don’t have the right answer, but I think it is a balance between a great design and an economical viable solution. I constantly wish, the business would just price it at a $100 more so the product could be awesome! At the end of the day I suspect that there is an element of good strategic planning as well.

  • Sunil Malhotra

    November 18, 2010 at 2:52 pm Reply

    Fantastic! Slap in the face of all those ‘better than before’ marketing pitches that burn millions of dollars, only to recover them from our depleting pockets.
    Underneath is a strong reminder for us consumers too — don’t keep demanding newness at the cost of the earth’s resources. Buy goods, treat them well, keep them for as long as they last.

  • Design Translator

    November 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm Reply

    @Sunil: Thanks for your comment Sunil. I hope that is what design will do. Design better products, that last longer, and that people will love and take care of. Sometimes being associated too close to commercial objectives tends to make things mercenary.

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