GMC, I have no doubt, sells a ton of trucks in Texas. For auto makers, Texas is perhaps the number one reason to make trucks in the first place. So, naturally, when advertising trucks and SUVs, it makes sense to include some iconic Texas landscapes in images even for national campaigns. And the Houston skyline is the best in Texas, one of the finest in the country. Using it to sell trucks just makes good horse sense, as my grandfather used to say.
So, on one hand, I can't help applauding them for using an image of our city in an ad. What does weird me out just a hair, however, is where they put the skyline. Instead of just using a wonderful photo of the city, they decided Houston wasn't quite close enough to the coast, so they created this...
Look at that amazing skyline...right next to the water? Yes, that is a dude with a boat in the foreground and he's putting it into the bay (or Lake Michigan?) right in front of the city of Houston. Perhaps GMC is so concerned with global warming that it presents this image as a cautionary tale of what might happen with the rise of sea levels in our oceans. Maybe it believes Buffalo Bayou is an appropriate place to launch a power boat. And it's difficult to tell if the bridge to the right is just an elevated roadway along the shore or, wait, could they have turned Houston into an island?
I know that the Allen Brothers used their own photo trickery to entice some of the first settlers to Houston. Of course, they just made illustrations that looked like Germany's Rhine River Valley, complete with lush tree-lined mountains alongside a beautiful meandering river. Of course, the river was a bayou and the mountains were swampland, but, you know, artistic license.
I admit the thought of Houston right on the water is appealing, but Houston isn't San Francisco or San Diego or even New York or Chicago. We don't have the visual advantages those cities have thanks to geography. But we don't need a car company trying to help us look cool. We ARE cool. You should know that, GMC. You sell enough trucks here as it is.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.