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When the growing Japanese car industry set out to conquer new car owners on their domestic market up through the sixties, the newest and most effective weapon within advertising was utilised with great success.

The reptilian brain is the car enthusiasts best friend. Without it, car advertisements would be awfully technical and outright boring. This particular part of our brain has somehow managed to dodge any form of development or enhancement during human kinds evolution up through the past 200,000 years or so. As such, it’s only aware of three things in life: food, danger and… sex.

Despite our reptilian brain functioning unconsciously, it is constantly active and at work. Never ceasing to scan the environment around you for those fundamental elements: something to keep your belly full, safety from external threats and goodies with which you can mate.

I wonder whether it’s pure coincidence or perhaps a very deliberate act of clever marketing, that the wooden rail which this young lady has softly placed her hand upon is positioned in the picture as it is?

Humans – and perhaps especially males – are of a disposition where we react quite strongly to reproduction. So much so, that our brain will have measurable neural activity from even the slightest incitement of sex. There’s no need for entirely naked models in order to get “the machinery” cranked up. A delicate ankle or a small piece of the neck being exposed is often all it takes.

Cars have invariably been associated with sex – at least in terms of marketing – ever since we during the fifties started to fully understand the mechanisms of our reptilian brain and its tremendously limited comprehension. The car is one of those products which is so easily combined with erotic messages, and throughout the sixties, many new Japanese cars made the most of that in their advertising as one new model after the other was launched to accommodate the growing domestic market for mobilisation. The country as a whole was best known for its more restrained and subtle approach to such subjects, but western values had made their entry and Japanese advertising bureaus certainly didn’t hold back when it came to capturing the attention of the new and rapidly growing demographics of the car buying public. No leaf was left unturned as they played on biblical stories of Adam and Eve and the temptations of Eden’s garden, phallic symbols, and wonderfully sassy suggestions of what he and her might get up to with this next, new and smart Japanese automobile.

Long live the reptilian brain!

 

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