The Camaro: Fine as the Ticket on the Dash
In the summer of 2007, Transformers awed millions worldwide with loads of action, Megan Fox, and a really badass car. For those not too familiar with Transformers, it revolves around the rivalry between Autobots and Decepticons, alien robots from the planet Cybertron. The main character, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf), buys an old school Camaro in order to impress the girl of his dreams, Mikaela Banes (Megan Fox). Soon, we discover that Sam’s Camaro is an Autobot, named Bumblebee, who helps in the war against the Decepticons. After battling a Decepticon disguised as a Mustang, Mikaela questions, “If he’s suppose to be an alien robot, why does he turn back into this piece of crap Camaro?” Taking offense to this, Bumblebee pulls over, ejects both his passengers, and rides off. However, after transforming himself, Bumblebee comes back as the all-new fifth generation Camaro. I remember, at that specific moment in the movie, my jaw dropped in awe of the sexiness of the Camaro and with only one word coming to mind, “damn."
When the Camaro rolls in on the screen, the pathos of the Camaro is reflected in this particular scene and throughout the movie. As guys, cars are part of our natural habitat. I mean for us, cars are a lot like girls, you don’t have to be an expert to appreciate a beauty when you seen one. The first time we see the Camaro roll up, it’s the equivalent of love at first sight. Within a matter of seconds, we invest so much emotion and love towards the Camaro as soon as our eyes make contact with it. From then on, all we can think about is the being the person behind the steering wheel. While falling in love with a great piece of machinery can go either way for guys and girls, Transformers mainly targets men, for the person in the passenger seat is no other than the lovely Megan Fox.
The logos tied into the Camaro is the fact that if men own one, then we too could have a bombshell seating in the passenger seat. When Transformers came out in the summer of 2007, I was 14-years-old and one of many that instantly fell in love with Megan Fox. According Louis Gianneti’s Understanding Movies, “Good looks and sex appeal are compelling traits, predisposing us in favor of a given character. Sometimes an actor’s appeal is so strong that he or she can win over an audience…” (406). Think about it from the male point of view, you have your average American guy, with a really cool car, that ends up with a smoking’ girl like Megan Fox, you bet I’m all in to invest in a Camaro! The same would work for girls, if the protagonist were a girl who was able to win over Ryan Gosling with a car; this would easily win over the female audience. However, it’s not just the fact that we have increased chances of getting a good-looking girl (confidence alone gets that done), but the fact that the Camaro is also displayed as the toughest car around. When your country goes to war with alien robots, Transformers shows us our best bet is to send in the Camaro. Bumblebee proves that if a Camaro can outlast explosive battles, it can certainly withstand traffic. After seeing Transformers, many had already established a relationship with the Camaro that they would be bound to buy one as soon as they hit the market.
Transformers was the perfect opportunity to introduce the newest upcoming model for the all-new 5th generation Camaro. The ethos surrounding the Camaro established relationships with people that saw Transformers and those who fell in love with the car. Since 2009, when the new Camaro finally went on the market, sales of the car skyrocketed to point where it’s now one of the most abundant cars on the road. The Camaro hasn’t just been a dominant force in the car industry but also society and pop culture. In The Orange County Register, Martin Smith points out, “…the impact of product placement goes far beyond revenue…” (3). The Camaro has become an icon for the Transformers franchise, it’s now amongst the elite of superior American built cars, and little kids have grown up thinking any yellow Camaro on the street is actually Bumblebee!
When Transformers came out, I was among many that thought the Camaro was by far the coolest thing ever. It has become an icon on another level. We have grown attached to the Camaro on the big screen and the road. When you see one, you just can't help yourself but make a double take. If in fact you come across a yellow Camaro and wonder if it’s a Transformer…It is, he’s just shy.