The beauty of industrial or commercial vehicles is that, for the automotive and fitting industries, there is some expectation of job security. While economic ebbs and flows might affect the workload for contractors and service providers in all forms, the simple fact is that the need for such skilled laborers and technicians rarely seems to disappear completely. Even specialists need only be patient since trends tend to be cyclical in nature. Thus (corporate branding aside) there is rarely a shortage of white conversion vans out there on the streets, at any given time. And it’s this sense of ‘job security’ that’s about to give the commercial vehicle industry its biggest shot in the arm since the formation of the A.A.R.V. (American Association of Rapey Van-owners).
Why? Because VAN Magazine has found its way of boosting their circulation numbers, and we have a feeling that the women of these United States are going to like it.
It was 1985 when PEOPLE magazine introduced their idea of the “Sexiest Man in America”, choosing the celebrity whose sex appeal would serve as a historical marker of median women’s tastes in that particular year. And in the last 33 years, recipients have included Mel Gibson, Patrick Swayze, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Johnny Depp (each twice), Channing Tatum, Dwayne Johnson and (most recently) Idris Elba. Regardless of the recipient, none could ever be described as ‘divisive’ in the year in which they received the award and, thus, SMIA issues enjoyed record-breaking sales.
And VAN is ready to jump on board with a similar approach thanks to their first ever ‘Ladies Only: Working Men’ issue, to be released in 2019.
“You know what women love even more than airbrushed celebrity hunks?” asks VAN Magazine Senior Content Manager, Bren Doverin-Tagett. “Men. Hard-working. Steadily-employed. Dependable. Able to get the job done and fix what needs fixing. And who fits all of those expectations? Tradesmen. And what do Tradesmen drive? Vans. So, if the sexiest men in the world drive vans, doesn’t that (by default) make vans the sexiest vehicles on earth?”
In all honesty, we found it difficult to argue with her logic. But what does the “Working Issue” entail? Basically, it consists of the kind of content one might describe as either “exploitative” or “empowering” depending on the extent to which your parents raised you to repress your sexuality. Each image contains a scantily clad, ruggedly handsome man, dressed in hints of his trade. And in each shot, the subject is paired with the likes of a Chevy Express van in order to complete the image.
Speaking honestly, it didn’t do much for me, but I doubt I’m the target demographic. So we handed copies of some of the images to an all-female focus group, in order to get their thoughts on whether or not vans were (in fact) the “Sexiest Vehicles in America”.
In a monotone, almost trance-like voice, one woman claimed, “Yeah. Vans are cool.”
“I like vans,” offered another.
We even heard an “I’d climb into that van if someone offered me candy.”
That said, it seems that VAN Magazine is on the right path to increasing their sales. We can only assume that sales of actual vans will improve as well (even if its only for costumed role-play between long-married couples)