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Selling Luxury

The following car advertisements sell much more than just a car - they sell an identity and a lifestyle. In the marketing of lifestyle and identity, luxury and style play a big role. These ads sell both the luxury of owning one of these cars and the status and privileged lifestyle that goes along with it.

Some of these ads target upper-class consumers by selling a lifestyle that is both affordable and luxurious. Other ads are geared towards the average consumer, presenting style and luxury as something to be resisted while making fun of this lifestyle. Both invoke different ideas and values related to social class.

It is important to note that some ideas concerning luxury and class change throughout the 20th century. Some concepts and trends are repeated - appearing decades apart. Some ideas about luxury are consistent over time and never disappear. Pay attention to both the visuals and the text; how do they differ? Also, keep in mind questions of race, gender, and class, noting how ideas of luxury and the promotion of a luxurious lifestyle appear in these ads.