Smart Wants You To “Unbig” the “Uncar:” It’s Doubleplusgood!

By Blake Z. Rong | September 23, 2011
You’d be mistaken in believing they don’t sell Smart cars here anymore. They do, just not many—just under 6,000 cars for the entire year of 2010. To rectify that, the fastidious Germans at parent company Mercedes-Benz have launched a new ad campaign, extolling the Smart’s greatest and smallest asset: its size. The ad consists of various people in various diverse settings—company boardrooms, music videos, talk shows, a construction site—shouting “BIG!” over and over again, in a wry reflection of our media-saturated environment. A wide-eyed corporate serf gazes upon a lime-green Smart car and suddenly has an epiphany: "Small!" he exclaims, albeit to nobody in particular. None of his co-workers responds, so the tagline runs: “unbig. uncar,” which may sound vaguely familiar to anyone who’s been forced to read 1984 and its dystopian Newspeak in high school. Given Toyota’s recent “It’s a Car!” campaign for the Yaris—which, may we remind you, is almost twice the size of the Smart—it’s a battle of wits for consumers who see a car merely as a temporary conveyance for Wal-Mart shopping bags. The commuter pod of the future has arrived, and it’s plusgood! Or unbad, at the very least.