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Car Commercials, the good, the bad, and the annoying!

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  • rickabtrickabt Posts: 34
    Jim Varney died last year from cancer, but he still appears in commercials for this area's largest Chevrolet dealership ... rest his soul!

    I've heard that he has appeared in commercials for many dealerships all across the country. I thought there was a law saying that spokespeople should use the product or service offered by the company they advertise ... Jim Varney must have a lot of cars, I guess.

    I never understood the appeal of Jim Varney for a car dealership unless the dealer wanted to stimulate a response from people with bad credit.

    Fran Tarkenton also speaks for a subprime-level (caters to sufferers of bad credit) lending institution called Bar None ... does that mean that Fran's financing his car at 21% interest, too?
  • rickabtrickabt Posts: 34
    Ever since VW's catchy quirky ads have met great success, several other car manufacturers have hired similar-minded ad agencies to appeal to my age group. For example...

    1.) Ford Focus hatchback ad where the fashionable young passengers exit through the hatch while the Pet Shop Boys sing "I know it's gonna be alright."

    2.) Toyota Echo ad which features the slogan "Is there an echo out there?" Lotsa techno music in the background and idiot-with-Mac airbrush graphics ... this is just like the "Turbonium" spots from VW. Ever since the Jetta wiperblade-synchronicity spot, there has been a lot of techno music on TV ads.

    3.) Toyota RAV4 commercial which features the song "What Do I Get?" by the Buzzcocks. C'mon, Toyota ... what's next from you? Johnny Rotten singing "I am an anarchist/I am an antichrist!" while revving up a Celica GT-S? Punk rock has no place in selling Toyotas!!! In the early 90's, Subaru tried to use punk rock to catch on with young buyers ("Defiant and different ... like punk rock, but it's a car!") but this failed as well.

    4.) Acura commercial featuring a collage of images and the slogan "Engineering is our art." The song used as the background is from a great little-known Boston band called Galaxie 500. I guess the rights to Galaxie 500 songs sell for far less than rights to well-known major-label artists. Good thinkin'! Save money! Sadly, this triumph in tasteful musical direction was followed up poorly by the lazy "Key Largo" CL coupe commercials. That song is so vapid and slow, it makes me think that the car is just as slow!
  • markz2kmarkz2k Posts: 112
    Speaking of VW, remember their slogan in the early '80's? I do, and they were 100% correct. "It's not a car. It's a Volkswagen." Apparently, based on my 1980 Rabbit, the definition of Volkswagen is "unreliable POS that spends virtually all of it's life at the dealer, starting one month after the warranty ends."

    Bitter, who me? :)
  • pjyoungpjyoung Posts: 885
    I can't stand the local ads (especially on radio). We've got two dealers in KC (both Chevrolet dealers) who offer the fast talking disclaimer that nobody can understand. They scream their ads, and they've offered the following.

    1. $99 down, $99 dollars a month. They spend the whole ad touting this, then the fast talking starts and the "example" is a 2000 Cavalier with 3 payments of $99 and 57 payments of $350. What happens when the idiots who fall for this suddenly realize it's NOT really $99? Well, we have ad number 2:

    2. Big Repo sale. Like new cars with used car pricing. Negotiation will not be necessary - the prices on the windows are rock bottom.

    3. Then they have the Blazer ads, where the deals are for GM employees only.

    4. The latest ads are the "you waited" as in, we said $99 a month, but YOU WAITED. We had a REPO SALE but YOU WAITED, We had Blazers for $4,000 off, but YOU WAITED. NOW - NO REASONABLE OFFER WILL BE REFUSED. Of course, they don't say what a reasonable offer is.

    I hate these ads.
  • wenyuewenyue Posts: 558
    Lexus, unlike their cheaper Toyota breathern, seems like alway make good commericals.

    I like the IS300 commerical where the guy black mail the boss. Like the ES300 commmerical with a guy driving around a glass building trying to charm himself (like the music especially). GS commericial with the guy messing up his shirt and putting on lipstick trying to fool his wife....

    Toytoa could learn a thing or two from Lexus commericals.
  • andrew21andrew21 Posts: 6
    The Viper one w/ "Magic Carpet Ride" playing. I'm no Viper fan, but I thought that one was fun to watch.

    Other than that and a few that I mentioned before, I really don't have many opinions on car commercials because 99% are so forgettable. If you asked me 10 minutes after I watched one, I just wouldn't be able to recall the model or even the manufacturer. Yawn.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    I don't know - I suppose you are right for the most part, but it just strikes me that Toyota has consistantly annoying commercials. Now if they advertised cars like they do beer, you could tell something from the ads. My personal observation there is the worse the beer the better the commercial.
  • jimvetajimveta Posts: 96
    These are some I like just because they look cool:

    - The Chevy Tahoe ads for the previous model year
    (I haven't seen anyone for the new ones); the
    series with the morphing nature scenes, the
    adventures percussive music, and ending with
    the guy's deep voice "..like a rock". i thought
    the whole series was beautiful and sort of "awe
    inspiring"

    - Tundra commercial where it starts out with just
    its frame and wheels on a desert flat, and as
    it moves alongside various vehicles and a train,
    all the parts fall from the sky to come and
    assemble together to form the truck. reminds
    me of the borg somehow

    - VW's Vapor color beetle commercial.. just seemed
    really laid back, cool, relaxing ..

    - A single dodge ram commercial of it rotating on
    a pedastal, morphing into different
    configurations, representing it's uses with
    various company logos on the truck and such..
    probably strange of me to like it, but i think
    it was the style.. simple, concise message, and
    good deep, moving non-cheesy music.

    - BMW commercials i think it was the 3-series..
    just it carving the corners, intermittent
    messages, no talking, good pumping techno.
  • dbakalardbakalar Posts: 39
    The VW commercials of late are by far my favorite. I like the one from a few years back w/ the two guys tooling around town, pick up the ratty looking recliner chair, only to stare at each other and set it back out on the curb. My all time favorite is the "Mr. Robato" commercial for the new Golf. Only because I have been guilty of doing the same thing in my '99 Golf.

    Nissan Maxima commercials are cool only because of the cool music. The cars themselves are ugly as sin.

    Stupidest commercials I've seen yet belong to Hyundai. A stage diving Hyundai, and the one with the guy sunbathing in his car, next to the pool, on TOP of a highrise building. Give me a break.
  • vqzhtrvqzhtr Posts: 9
    Like em
    1) Any of the 2000 Maxima, Xterra, and Pathfinder commercials (with out the Jerry Guy). The Maxima commercials because of the upbeat music, the desert shots and because you get to focus on the car and not have to see or listen to some people in the background who you don't really care about or really have nothing to do with the commercial.

    The Xterra ads because of the cool rugged shots and the Lenny Kravitz song. The Pathifinder commercial that was cool was the one where a whole bunch of Pathfinders are playing polo, that must have been hard to coordinate.

    I also like the old commercials with the Z and Barbie doll and the birds chasing the Maxima.

    2) The 1999 and 2000 Infiniti commericials although they may be forgettable. I think they bring more sense of luxury than most of the other luxo companies.

    3) The BMW X5 commercials. They seem kind of corny with those people jumping in the creek, but I love those shots of the X5 in the woods.

    4)Lexus commercial when the cop and and the owner of the RX switch places.

    5) The Jaguar S-Type commercial (not the new one)

    6) The VW Beetle Vapor commercial and The Jetta Commercial when the guy saves his car from the shopping cart.

    7)The GrandAM commercial where the car is driving through that computerized city.

    Very Funny and Hate em:
    1) The Acura commercials I gotta change the channel every time I see the key in the ignition. Key largo? I thought they were suppose to inflict luxury what the hell does driving through a dump in New Orleans have to do with luxury.

    2) The Honda commercial with Accord "Going on Vacation" it's so stupid it's funny. I don't like those commercials with the Oddy and the Dogs either makes no sense whatsoever.

    3)The Saturn LS commercials. First the one where the guy in the Accord gets scared of the LS and then at the end they call it a peformance sedan HEHE :) me and my friends were craking up for weeks. The second one where the guy in the office says he bought a luxury car and then a saturn LS shows up. Funny again.

    4)The Crazy VW Cabrio commercial thats 5 minutes long.

    5)Those Mitsubishi commercials cause their all in black and white.

    and Finally Toyota Commercials All boring and dumb just like the company. Don't get me started on their local ads either, I could have sworn in one of them the 4runner was going to tip over a cliff and fall.
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    The Good:
    -That 2000 GMC commercial where the Yukons drive around in formation. I love that music! Here's a tip for all the car companies out there: Formation driving gets attention!

    -The new Dodge commercials, where all the cars are graced with rebates, except the Viper. It's weird, but cool.

    -Cadillac DeVille and Seville commercials. Nice cohesion between graphics and sounds.

    -Saturn LS comemrcial with the crazy Accord guy. I don't like it for the Saturn, but because I know that half of all drivers can relate to that guy, talking to themselves and secretly challenging others to races when they try to pass.

    and a few from awhile ago...
    -Mercedes M-CLass commercial from a few years ago featuring the singing baby. That ranks among my personal top ten!

    -Buick full-line commercial with that "Real Car" ballad. It was kind of long, but good. At the beginning it showed a minivan and the voiceover, "Is that a car? That ain't no car." and then an SUV, "Is THAT a car? Not a real car...". So true...

    The Bad:
    -Infiniti I30 commercial. Not really a bad commercial, but it highlights the retractable sunshade. Not really an engineering breakthrough!

    -Suburu Outback sedan commercial saying that the sedan has a "decidedly uptown look". Huge foglights, giant spoiler...doesn't bring Times Square to my mind.

    -95% of all Toyota commercials. Just horrible. People would look at a Camry instead of an exploding building? The overused metaphoric tripe in the Avalon commercial? Someone actually taking a 4Runner off-road? These are hillarious...unfortunetly, that's not their aim.

    And the Annoying:
    -The absolute, most annoying commercial, EVER:
    The current MY TOYOTA sale ads. It is the absolute worst ever. The song will drill into your head and stay there!

    I don't know if these are playing anywhere else in the country, but in Tampa, Florida, we are being barraged by these ads. I turn on the radio: MY TOYOTA! I turn on the TV: MY TOYOTA! Finally, the sale was over...but wait; Turn on the TV and MY TOYOTA! Its been extended! Now I know how Noriega felt...
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,195
    "Now I know how Noriega felt..."

    Yes! Exactly!! Hee hee...
  • ickesickes Posts: 82
    1. Nissan Maxima on the dry lake bed with the jet engine sound in the background.

    2. VW Passat Wagon w/ the that cookie is still good under the 5-second rule.

    Also like the Lincoln LS cut-less commercial with "WOOD, LEATHER."
  • dbakalardbakalar Posts: 39
    Ford Focus coffee drinking, rail road crossing... "Dude. Dude. Dude. Dude. Dude. DUDES!)
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    The entire VW campaign. They're minimalist, funny, memorable and they all present a characteristic or benefit of the car in an entirely positive way. The Cabrio ad is my favorite of all -- it absolutely captures the magic of driving a convertible in the moonlight. Maximum cool!!!

    I drive a Toyota (matter of fact, so does my wife and daughter), but I'm witchoo on the ads -- they stink, except for the Tundra ads, which are pretty cool -- especially the one with the big dumpster trying to parallel park.

    The original GS ads ("Something wicked this way comes") were masterful in their attempt to dissassociate the car from its put-me-to-sleep Lexus brethren, and the new GS ad with the girl who wants a "nice caring buy who reads poetry and isn't afraid to pick a flower" then sees her REAL blind date, is pretty cool too. But the new IS print ads with the weirdo is just dumb. Saatchi and Saatchi needs some new talent........
  • rcarbonircarboni Posts: 290
    The Bad:

    1. The two women fighting for a parking spot in their SUVs. Bad image portrayal and how many Kias did they wreck shooting that one?

    2. The Lexus guy looking at his reflection while driving. Now I have associated Dork and Lexus as meaning the same thing.

    3. "Wider is Better". Concept is Stupid.

    4. Cadillac Catera. The caddy that "zigs"??? No wonder Cadillac couldn't sell these things.

    5. Honda Odyssey with the dogs. OK......

    6. Nissan Maxima. It was kinda cool the first 150 times I saw it. Now I'm sick of the Who, and the Maxima.

    7. Subaru Outback with Aussie guy. Ok, they're not that bad, but they are getting old.


    The Good:

    1. Eskimo describing animal tracks declares "Audi" after seeing tire tracks.

    2. Jeep Wrangler being "created" on the mountain.

    3. Tiger Woods Golf School. Has nothing to do with the car, but is good for a laugh.

    4. Chrysler 300M showing old commercials of 300 product line.

    5. Honda Insight. They should have put this much thought into the Odyssey ad.

    6. Jaguar S-type. Great music and images.

    7. Mitsubishi image ads. You want to deny it, but you know it's true. You buy because of looks.

    8. The new Passat ads that have people remembering their younger days.

    9. The Saturn LS. "That's what I've been saying for years". Funny stuff.
  • bdreggorsbdreggors Posts: 143
    That Paul Hogan guy is making me think that Subaru is AUSTRALIAN!

    I liked the older Odyssey ad with the members of the family each being represented by a lawyer that wanted something different in the van. Much better than the Frankenstein dog-men.

    I also like the new Silverado ad where the drilling guy asks the younger kid what he did with his truck and the youngster responds by saying "I just washed it." The owner drives it through the mud during the voiceover and at the end a coworker says "Man's gotta protect his image"!

    Just an interesting observation about truck commercials:
    Silverado: "The Truck"
    Sierra: "Professional-grade Trucks"
    F-150: "Built Ford Tough"
    Ram: "The Burden of Leadership"

    Toyota Tundra: "Just enough power for you!"

    An exercise in modesty or inadequacy? ;)
  • ickesickes Posts: 82
    Agree with your comment about the "wider is better" It is especially stupid since the Intrigue has a wider track than the GP.

    I saw the Focud "dude" commercial yesterday. VERY "dud". Ford is trying too hard to be hip.

    Does anyone get Cadillac's new Fusion campaign. Not much sense there. "Standard of the World" was better, even though it isn't true anymore.
  • freddy_kfreddy_k Posts: 376
    One of my favourates - judged by the fact that I cracked up the first time I saw it - guy parks his Jetta, the sound of a rolling shopping kart, guy runs through the camera and tackles it before it hits the car. I though it was great.

    Most annoying: All the new focus commercials playing cheap, cheesy music and people driving the cars all happy and stupid. Makes me ill!
  • denniswadedenniswade Posts: 362
    You have "youth marketing" to thank for that -- kinda like old white guys trying to be "hip with all that jive"........
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