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Vehicle Photos in Automotive Advertising

Mahindra Thar

It started as a one off thing but over time I have started noticing the embellishments that are done while preparing vehicles for photo shoots used for print ads and for the websites of the manufacturers selling vehicles in India. I know it’s the whole point of advertising to sell the product in their best possible light – but I feel these points should be known especially if you are in the market for a new vehicle.

  • Visuals of the cars on manufacturer websites usually are of the highest trim variant which comes with body colored bumpers, door handles, exterior body colored mirrors, alloys and in some cases wider tires.(All Manufacturers)(Best Example – even the Maruti 800 on its website is shown with Alloys. The Nano however does show wheel covers in most photos with some even without the wheel covers with just wheel caps)
  • Sometimes even the top end trim may not come with alloys – but still all photos will be with Alloys! ( Eg. Tata Grande)
  • In a lot of cases the photos are shot with wider than stock tires and with a much lower aspect ratio.(Tata Nano/ Tata CS).
  • Mudflaps are usually omitted. Especially the el-cheapo ones given for free by the dealers.(Most Marutis and Hyundais)
  • Dark tints are there on all windows including the front window- usually so dark that they could never be street legal. (Every single manufacturer does this)
  • Body Kits are usually added to boring models.(Toyota Etios Liva)
  • Boring/ugly rear ends are usually not shown – except for the 360 degree views where they have no choice.(Swift D’Zire, Toyota Etios)
  • Interiors are usually again shown of the top end trim level with steering mounted controls, tachometer, climate control(if present), music system and premium seating material. The lower trim levels without music system , speakers, parcel tray, floor mats, boot mats etc are never shown. (All Manufacturers)
  • Vehicle colors indicated and the actual color of the vehicle may have next to nothing to do with each other. Only colors like white, black and silver may look similar in real life.

Photoshop:

  • Colors are usually bumped up in contrast/saturation to pop off the page.(All Manufacturers)
  • Wheel are blurred to indicate it is in motion. (Maruti Swift usually looks like it is going to crash into something. Usually the rear wheels are not moving.)
  • The Mahindra Thar in the photo used as the cover for this post – looks absolutely pasted in ! Also note the bull bar,headlight grill,fog lamp,insect grill, alloys ,tint and the lack of driver :-).  Oh and by the way the front right tire is just a bit smaller than the left.  The weird lighting under the vehicle is very suspicious  as well.

Open Challenge:

  • List the manufacturer websites  where entry and mid trim variant photos are shown in the comments below.

5 comments to Vehicle Photos in Automotive Advertising

  • fas

    I feel that companies have to photoshop because there is no option due to the light conditions, which has to be touched up.

  • Well, thats why there is ALWAYS a disclaimer “accessories shown in the picture are not part of the standard equipment”

  • Sushil

    @Fas – I have nothing against photoshop usage – just that when doing so – make sure it isnt noticeable :-)

    @Madan Good point about the disclaimer – what I was trying to say was that – if you are looking for an entry/mid trim variant – you have no choice but to go to the dealership in person.

  • And the price quoted will never be on road price of the car used in the ad… it will be price of cheapest variant’s ex showroom price.

  • Sushil

    Very good point Srinidhi – the prices used to draw customers in are of the cheapest variant – also discounts mentioned usually mentioned are also only on petrol models as well.

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