It's not easy to come up with an effective marketing campaign for shocks and struts. Tires and brakes get all the glory. Thus, Monroe should be applauded for its "Saving Squirrels" ad effort. The message: Shock absorbers and struts "play important roles in providing the steering, stopping and stability characteristics that help keep drivers, passengers—and, yes, road-crossing animals, safe," per the company's press release. This message will be blasted throughout the year thanks to 6,000 radio spots, roadside billboards, banner ads and signage in baseball stadiums. But while it is certainly a clever and standout way to get people interested in shocks and struts, the message is flawed. Pretty much the only thing I actually remember from my driver's-education class is never to swerve out of the way of an animal (provided it isn't a deer or wildebeest). The voice of my teacher, Mr. Bruno, echoed through my head one day as I plowed over a raccoon on the Robert Moses Causeway doing about 70. Sure, I felt bad, but had I swerved or braked hard, I might have been the one who was dead. I think it's time for the driver's-ed teachers of the world to step up and tell the world about the wisdom of dead squirrels before someone gets hurt using their nifty new shocks and struts.
—Posted by Kenneth Hein