Mini-van gets new image

Published 12:29 pm Monday, April 27, 2009

By Staff
As someone who has watched television for most of my 40-plus years I have seen plenty of commercials over the years.
Just last week I was watching a television program and a commercial came on that really hit me as creative.
Apparently, the van has taken some hard knocks over the years as being anything but cool.
At some point, the vehicle took on a new image and was no longer considered to be a preferred mod of travel for anyone. When some Detroit executive decided to re-invent the vehicle and call it a mini-van, the hippness of the vehicle was lost forever.
You have probably heard comedians talk about how hard it is to flirt with cute girls in the car next to you at the red light when you’re in a mini van.
As the driver of one of these “mom mobiles” I realize it’s not something any man would want to drive if he plans to have any sort of image as being cool.
In the commercial I saw last week I got the impression that one auto manufacturer is trying to dispel the “mom mobile” image and recreate the former image of the van. Honda, who makes the Odyssey, has put together a commercial that shows how “cool” driving a van used to be. The spot is backed by some psychedelic-style music that further tries to prove the van is still a vehicle to be desired.
Try as they might, I can’t imagine that Honda will ever be able convince a 27-year-old male that driving a van would put him on the list of the coolest cats in town.
My van is getting on in miles and years and a new vehicle would certainly be appreciated at my house. However, I have had occasions lately to drive and ride with other people who don’t own vans. I’ve driven a Corolla that belonged to a family for a couple of miles to pick them up from the repair shop. I’ve ridden in a few other smaller vehicles over the past couple of weeks as well.
After being in vehicles that made me feel like I was sitting on the ground I appreciated my van a little more.
When I thought about it for a little bit, I considered what kind of vehicle I would replace my van with if the opportunity should come along. After careful consideration, I think I’ll hang on to what I’ve got.
Roomy, plenty of places for my son to plug in his electronic gadgets, spacious enough to put a month’s worth of groceries in the back, and I’m sitting high enough that I don’t feel the gravel on my backside while riding – that’s enough for me.
It only took a little while for me to realize how I feel about my van. I didn’t need Honda to remind me to respect the van.
Lisa Tindell is news editor for The Brewton Standard. She can be reached by email at

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