This week, Rice critiqued a new television advertisement for the Hyundai Tucson.
He gave it a “zero”.
Rice struggled to explain the narrative and its link to the vehicle.
It, rather meekly, revolves around the word "facelift"; the term used in the auto industry for a mid-life spruce-up that most cars are given after two or three years to maintain sales momentum until a genuinely new model comes out.
The on-screen protagonists (a drummer and a baker) achieve "small wins" through perseverance, a metaphor for the small wins that are evident on the "facelifted" Tucson.
Hyundai is trying to make a virtue out of small - and mostly cosmetic – changes.
However, said Rice, many people think of facelifts in quite a negative light (“covering up the ageing process”, “mutton dressed as lamb”, etc.)
So, even if you have the perseverance to deconstruct the advertising, said Rice, the answer you get to is none too flattering for the brand.
For more detail; listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down to watch the ad).