Mike Judge’s Silicon Valley faces a serious challenge in that it has to keep outdoing itself to properly satirize the real Silicon Valley, where crazy pants crap happens all the time. So it’s not surprising to see stuff from the show bleed into the world of real Valley startups, as with the new promotion from Airbnb-for-cars startup Turo that kicks off today.
For goofs, Turo is now renting out the car of Erlich Bachman, the pseudo-successful entrepreneur character whose one claim to fame prior to the events of the show is a decent exit for his startup Aviato. His Aviato-branded Ford Escape is now a real thing you can rent on Turo’s peer-to-peer car rental network, starting at $49 per day for this fine vintage 2006 automobile.
So just to clarify, because again, the line between reality and parody is super thin when it comes to things like HBO’s Valley-set comedy, this is a real car listing for a vehicle you can actually book. And there’s an actual profile on Turo for an “Erlich B.” with a single rating from someone who looks a lot like Business Insider’s Kif Leswing.
There’s also these things below, part real and part not: Quotes from real-world VCs about the real car, fake Aviato and fake Erlich.
As far as cheesy brand plays go, this one is actually fairly note-perfect for the startup, its offering and the mass media tie-in they opted to go with. So kudos, Turo, you played this blend of parody and reality just right – but if I ever find myself writing about a real venture round raise for Pied Piper, I’ll know we’ve gone too far.