An Outsider’s Take on the Chicago Auto Show

Caesar Torres

February 13th, 2017

2017 will mark the third year that I have gone to the Chicago Auto Show. Now, you might think, “Oh, that’s cool, Caesar. Do you like cars a lot?” And my answer to that is no, because I could care less about cars. Then why am I even going? Oh, that’s right, because my parents drag me to the show every year. I can go to the Auto Show, but I don’t have to enjoy it.

Even after going to the auto show for three years, and even after knowing what to expect from it, I still feel like an outsider. I tell myself every time before going to the show that I was going to try to take something out of it. Maybe I’ll find an interest in cars this year because I have a license and can drive now. Nope. I end up taking pictures and posting them to social media.

I noticed a lot of people taking selfies with the cars and, most likely, posting them online. Maybe that is the whole point of an event like this. The auto show is a big deal in Chicago and people want their friends to know that they are there. It’s kind of like they are bragging to their friends that they are there. Look at me, everyone! I’m at the Chicago Auto Show! But to be fair, I did the same thing.

Chevrolet’s LEGO Batmobile

I mean what else is there to do for outsiders other than to post pictures of what they thought were the coolest looking cars? The car companies know that this situation could happen, so they setup something special in advance. For example, at Nissan’s section of the show floor, there were people dressed up as Stormtroopers to promote the limited edition Nissan Star Wars car. And, of course, there was a line of people eagerly waiting to take their picture with the Stormtroopers. Chevrolet did something cool and made a life-size Batmobile with Lego’s. This got every passerby’s attention and this prompted anyone with a phone to take a picture of it.

After seeing each car company go all out on their booths, I realized that the Auto Show was just another competition they were having. Everyone who saw the life-size LEGO Batmobile, will talk about that on social media, which raises interest for Chevrolet. Some might even buy a Chevrolet because of that. They have these big and sometimes ridiculous displays to catch the consumer’s attention so that the companies can sell their cars. At least that’s what I got out from it.

Because I don’t have my own car, and I don’t see myself buying a car anytime soon, going to the Auto Show seems like a waste of time. However, it is a surprising experience because car companies do try to make it interesting for the outsider, while also deploying brilliant marketing tactics on them. I’ll probably go again next year, and I’ll probably get the same thing I got out of it this year, but at least my friends will like the picture of that luxury car that I posted on Instagram.

 

Caesar Torres

Features Editor

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