The South Carolina DVM expects to use my car’s license plate to advertise for the state… we’ll see about that!
Every few years the state of South Carolina sends me a new license plate. For some reason, they just can’t pick a color and design and stick with it. But this time… they have really managed to pissed me off.
Here is the new license plate that arrived in the mail yesterday.
First of all, I don’t give a rat’s ass about the plate being pretty. I was fine with the plain white & blue plates with the high-visibility red font they used to use in the 80’s. The purpose of the plate is to give police a way to identify the car. That’s all it has to do. But if they want to spend my tax dollars making it all pretty then that’s OK with me.
What gripes my ass though is that “TRAVEL2SC.COM” written at the bottom of the plate. Never mind that it’s in all upper-case… it’s the idea of having it there at all that pisses me off.
I don’t mind branding to some extent. If you make some physical thing that I buy and you want to have your name on it then that’s fine as long as your branding isn’t over-the-top annoying and doesn’t negatively impact the usefulness of the thing you brand. Take my car for example… it has the Toyota logo on front and back, and on back the word “Toyota” and the model of the car. That’s fine with me. If someone looking at my car likes it, they might find it useful to know what kind of car it is so they can see about getting one themselves. I always like to be able to look at other people’s car and know what kind it is too.
Same with most things and branding… as long as you keep it kinda subtle, tactful, and out of the way.
Advertising is a different matter though. I fucking refuse to advertise for you, especially not for free.
Take my car as an example again. I went to several car lots before I bought my car. One of them had a car that I liked, but it had a big-ass steel logo for the car dealer bolted onto the back. The dealer logo was actually larger than all the Toyota logos combined. I asked them if they could order me the car without the logo or remove the logo and “repair” the hole that the bolts would have left.
They looked at me funny and said they couldn’t do that. So I told him that the only way I’d buy his car is if he gave me $100/month each month I owned it or knocked off $7200 off the price ($100/month times the 6 years I’d financed the car for). He laughed thinking I was joking… so I got up and walked out of the sales office.
I ended up buying the same car from a dealership that had a simple “sticker” logo that I could remove. I made sure they knew that the only reason I bought their car instead of the other guy was because I could remove the logo.
Its just a thing with me. I will allow you to brand my stuff if you can do it tactfully… but I’m not running around throwing someone else’s name in everyone’s face. That’s why I don’t buy a lot of name-brand clothing lines. If your logo is the prominent feature of the shirt, then fuck-off! You aren’t charging me $20 to $40 for a shirt AND getting me to do your advertising for you.
But in this case with the license plates, it is even more offensive to me. The state requires that I have a license plate, and I have no alternative vendor I can go to get a plate from. I could buy a “custom” license plate from the state that doesn’t have advertising on it… but why should I have to pay $50 more for the “privledge” of dodging having to do the governments dirty advertising.
In the end… duct tape came to the rescue:
I’m serious… I will not advertise for you. I don’t give a damn if you are the government or my mom. If you want me to advertise for you…. pay me!