Does second-handedness exist? Yes, absolutely. Is it what this commercial criticizes? Ironically, no. The commercial appears intended to appeal to people who value what they do – have the tastes and standards and preferences that they do – because they understand each thing that they value on it’s own terms (and understand how it integrates without contradiction into everything else in their lives and personalities). There is nothing wrong with complimenting such people (or even that part of people who are only partially that way), but only if that compliment is secondary to the commercial’s primary purpose (ie: informing the viewer about the product and/or reminding him of it’s existence). This commercial compliments that aspect in leiu of that purpose, which can mean only one thing: there is (ironically) nothing particularly special about the product (ie: nothing that separates it from it’s competition), and Infiniti knows it.
What, then, is this commercial really attempting to do? If it were actually targeted at truly independent people, then it would contain information about the product (since that would be the only way to sway such people). It does not, which means that it’s real target is second-handed people who wish to think of themselves as independent. A truly independent person doesn’t care if the automobile he chooses is ubiquitous or rare, popular or unpopular, but only that it fits him. He judges the product on it’s own merits and nothing else. A pretentiously independent person, however, only cares that he’s “going against the flow.” He mistakes (or at least hopes that others do so) correlation for causation (ie: the fact that true progress occurs by people who are not afraid to be unpopular, and therefore that most – but not all – of the truly beneficial scientific, economic, and cultural advancements have occurred this way). He is completely oblivious to the fact that not doing what everyone else is doing, just because they’re not doing it, is just as mindlessly conformist as doing what they’re doing just because they are doing it.
Another flaw in this commercial is this conflation of economic leverage and/or cultural pressure with physical (specifically government) force. Talk of “revolution”, and the attempt by the factory – via robots – to keep the individual from leaving, allude to the all-too-common idea that the individual is beholden to what’s popular simply because it is popular. This unfairly tarnishes popular businesses (and often serves as the rationale for using force against them in the form of government-imposed regulations), as well as helps to perperate actual instances of the use of force (because it makes people insensitive to the difference). Infiniti, by doing this, is simply using populist demagougery in order to tap into the confused, superficial ideas many people (even wealthy liberals) hold so that they can make car-buying feel like a political activism in addition to car-buying, instead of just car-buying (and therefore make the second-handers who believe such things feel important – since, being altruists, they don’t consider how they live their own lives to have any moral significance (except, perhaps, to be evil – since they’re buying a luxury car to make themselves happy)).