Boom Car Ads

You might be surprised at the disturbing language and sexist content used by the car audio industry to market its products. It exhibits a new low of corporate irresponsibility and greed that is ruining communities all over the country.

These ads are not designed to appeal to the motorist looking to upgrade the factory speakers in their vehicle to enjoy better sounding music.

The Mobile Electronics Retailers Association (MERA), a trade group representing dealers and installers of aftermarket car audio systems, issued a position statement warning its member companies "not to use symbols, messages or suggest behavior that would adversely affect the industry. Irresponsible promotion could negatively impact the perception of our industry by the public at large and could be used against us by activists or government to regulate our products and activities."

But that warning did not stop its member companies from rolling out even more ad campaigns that promote thuggery. These ads are the smoking gun that they market their products as a means for anti-social people to create massive noise pollution.

Feel free to use this material when presenting evidence for stronger noise pollution ordinances in your community.

Car Sound Magazine

CMP Information is the publisher of Car Sound & Performance Magazine. Primedia is the largest publisher of enthusiast automotive magazines and websites with over forty different titles, including Car Audio Magazine. Together, these two corporations have extensive reach into the consumer market for boom car equipment, hot-rodding and motorcycles.

Most of these ads are also found in mens' magazines including FHM and Maxim. Hip-Hop culture magazines such as Vibe, XXL and The Source also carry these ads.

Boss Audio Systems

Boss Audio Systems ad is a depiction of a punk giving the finger with the caption 'Turn it down? I don't think so.'

Bazooka Mobile Audio

A Bazooka subwoofer presented as an extended phallus. The ad promises 'bigger performance' and 'long lines of chicks who want to check out your tube.'

Cerwin Vega

The Cerwin Vega ad is a depiction of a mummy holding its ears with the caption 'Shake the living - Wake the dead.'

Directed Electronics

Using team names such as Kingpin, Troublemaker and Instigator, 'Directed Mayhem' is marketed to appeal to males to build competition level boom cars.

Directed Electronics founder is Darrell Issa. As former chairman of the CEA, he traveled across the country lobbying against municipal noise ordinances. Issa parlayed his considerable wealth to gain political office as a Republican Congressman representing California.

Hollywood Sound Labs

The Hollywood Sound Labs ad copy reads: 'The word on the Street... Shake Seats and Annoy Neighbors.'

JBL Car Audio

The JBL Car Audio ad copy reads: 'Either we love bass or hate your neighbors.'

JL Audio

The JL Audio ad copy reads: 'Be Very Afraid.' An example of how menace is used as a marketing message.

MA Audio

A sexist ad meant to appeal to men who think they can attract women with a boom car.

MB Quart

The MB Quart ad copy reads: 'Bolt-On Performance They'll Hear a Mile Away.'

Sony Car Audio

The ad equates boom audio equipment as a weapon, specifically an explosive device: 'It's not my remote, its my detonator'. Sony's line of boom car equipment is marketed under the brand name, X-Plod.

Pioneer Electronics

Pioneer Electronics hired Omnicom's BBDO West to produce its marketing campaign called 'Defy, Disrupt, Disturb, Ignite'. An advertising trade magazine had an interesting review of their campaign:

"It may not be a club that the well-adjusted and highly successful people who read Adweek would care to join. But in the aggregate, even anti-social numskulls have plenty of discretionary income to spend. The ad prompts a reader to feel that Pioneer is part of a life that's more exciting than the version he's currently living. Actually, "reader" may not be quite the right word, since each ad in the series carries a one-word text - the likes of "Defy", "Disrupt" and "Disturb." This presumably won't overtax the target audience's patience for reading, while the sense of the words assures these guys (accurately or otherwise) that they have a big effect on those around them."

"The look of the ads seems rather gloomy, but I'm willing to believe that tuners will instead see it as conveying an air of menace - something to which they themselves may aspire. In sum, the ads give these guys a sense of importance, and they'll feel disposed to reward Pioneer for doing so."


How Pioneer Electronics envision urban life.

The ad attempts to speak in the voice of a lone boom car owner driving down a rainy street, but the underlying corporate message is that Pioneer Electronics owns the road.

Depicting urban blight and a sense of menace.

Pioneer Electronics celebrates the accomplishent of winning a Sound Pressure Level (SPL) competition.

Other Products

This type of pandering also extends to other products and brands. This ad features a pack of Kool cigarettes as a bass subwoofer.

Pepsi "The Not-So-Vanilla Vanilla"

A Pepsi Vanilla truck blasts music in an urban neighborhood. Background actors pretend to be impressed and excited about the noise. Created by BBDO, the same agency that produced Pioneer Electronics 'Defy, Disrupt, Disturb, Ignite' ad campaign. Pepsi also toured a customized truck around the country with a 5,500 watt sound system and a hydraulic system to make the truck bounce.

Sponsored Events & Competitions

Event organizers attract the boomer crowd to its car shows with this kind of low-class advertising. A model was hired to promote this event. Promoters use the lure of sex to suggest that having the bigger boom car makes them attractive to women.

These events are sponsored by the car audio and hot-rod industry and held in communities all over the country. These types of events are a come-on for males to purchase or upgrade their boom car equipment. Organizers often give police officers free admission to these events to influence them into believing that booming is not a crime but a sport.