Give Up Nothing: Buy a Hyundai.

David Kiley

The ad caught my eye. A gleaming Hyundai Azera, the Korean carmaker's new sedan that it hopes competes with vehicles like the Toyota Avalon, Nissan Maxima and Chrysler 300C. Normally, most print ads don't get my attention. But I had a sense of deja vu.

It was back around 1992 or 93 when Mercedes-Benz launched its first ad campaign out of Scali, McCabe, Sloves after years of advertising "Engineered Like No Other Car In The World." The taglinie was, "Sacrifice Nothing." The line was short-lived because President Bill Clinton had been talking about "sacrifice" in a positive, morale-building way. The line seemed out of touch.

So, here we are, four years into a war that divides the country, almost five years after 9-11 and with a new debt ceiling that is 9 trillion dollars. Yet no one is suggesting that Hyundai's line, "Give Up Nothing" is even a little bit out of touch. It seems, sadly, to be in perfect keeping with the mood of the country.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.