Visual Analysis of Smart Cards: Volvo, BMW, and Fiat



Currently Europe regards itself as a leading part in the global race towards smart automated transport. According to ERTRAC, European Road Transport Research Advisory Council, automated driving innovation is motivated by both technological advancements as well as social goals of equality. This report shows how such perspectives of technology and social goals of equality are carved out and handled in visual e-marketing strategies by high end car producers selected representing both the North and South of Europe. Using visual analysis in a range of YouTube videos from car producers such as Volvo, BMW, and Fiat, we scrutinize their e-marketing with a focus on representations of gender, class, and ethnicity. The most popular video commercials provide material on imagined realities that the car companies portrait as desirable. The elephant in the room is so to speak that the three iconic car companies are striving to be competitive and to keep up their market shares up against threats from many sites: technologically, politically, globally, and also in relation to climate and CO2 reductions. The visual representations in the promotional videos show that the car companies try to maintain their own unique profile and brand including a blend of social, gendered, and national and regional characteristics in the intensified competition at the global car market. Both Volvo and BMW use e-marketing in a broader effort of mobilization of memories, feelings, and identities in favor of energy saving; yet they still promote a car centric society as a signpost for modern society and smart middle-class mobility.

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