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Grace
Hagerty Employee

9 automotive ad campaigns that either sizzled or fizzled

The new car business is incredibly competitive. There are a dozen or more companies all vying for customer dollars, doing their best to build a compelling product. Even if a company were to build the perfect vehicle for a buyer, marketing is how the message gets out. To make that connection, advertisers have come up with all sorts of outlandish gimmicks, pitches, and commercials.

 

As we'll elucidate in this highly scientific study, sometimes great commercials can lend new life to a model or help establish the identity of a brand. Others, well, can become punchlines.

 

Read the full article on Hagerty.com: https://www.hagerty.com/media/lists/nine-car-ad-campaigns-that-sizzled-and-fizzled/

75 REPLIES 75
denali94
Pit Crew

The tires were by Uniroyal - they still have a line of Tiger Paws!
Andy47357
Navigator

“Ford Trucks!!! The BEST Never rest” ads should have been here

fotogmike
Pit Crew

Sheriff Joe Higgins in the Dodge commercials should have been listed in this article.
Y'all drive careful, now. Heah? 

Historian
Intermediate Driver

No mention of the old Dodge ads, of the sheriff, "You're in a heap of trouble, boy!"

Steve1957
Pit Crew

I always thought those "Dr. Olds" ads were unbearable. The effort to be "hip" in some fashion to the point of being incomprehensible. A muddle.

doug_scott
New Driver

I can recall the VW slogan, but not the actual commercial content, the slogan was "Volkswagen, they will definitely float,  but they won't float indefinitely"

Jupiterider1
Navigator

Mid 60s VW ads were very clever (Sometimes in a cringeworthy way).

Joe Izusu were so hilarious that people often started conversations with; “Have you seen the new Joe Izusu commercial?”.

Brilliant advertising can be fondly remembered decades later.

Frenchie
New Driver

The 1986 Iroc Z28 was a good add

StevieJanowski
New Driver

Chevy guy: “We brought you here today to show you a car that will be outsold 7:1 by the Toyota Camry.”

tmodell
Passenger

I thought the VW “My Fast ads were great.   Although, at least one of them generated a lot of push back for its misogyny:

 

https://youtu.be/3sy8d4aroW4

 

 

 

Smokeycrew37
Navigator

I absolutley loved the My Fast ads.  My hotrod truck has a keychain with the My Fast demon.    VW also has another realy cool ad campaign around that time call Un-pimp your auto with Peter Stormare playing derranged german auto engineer destroying ridiculously tricked out imports.
tmodell
Passenger

The Audi R8 V10 ad is best played with headphones or on a good sound system.   I doubt it sold a lot of R8s, but it helped build Audi’s performance image.

 

https://youtu.be/K0_GCuim9kY

 

Still love to watch this!

 

mtgibby
New Driver

What about Mr. Ed, the talking horse pushing Studebaker’s at the end of his show!?

WillieG12
Pit Crew

The reference to "rich Corinthian leather" became part of the pop vocabulary and developed "lots of secondary meaning" making the ad campaign for Chrysler succesful, somewhat less so for the Cordoba itself (We had one) .

Major omission in this piece - the 30 year ad campaign for the Mercury Cougar.  Employing a rescued live Cougars ("Chancey" being the most famous) with Cheryl Tiegs, Farah Fawcett and Arnold Palmer (among others). "At the sign of the cat" followed by Chancey's signature snarl, it was the single longest running "same themed" car ad campaign.

See:   Does Your Cat Have His Papers? « - The Copyright Zone

thecopyrightzone.com › ...
 

 

dbucknh
New Driver

This, by far, is my favorite car TV ad - the kid identifying the '96 Z/28 by exhaust sound;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NZwONYWUu0Y

awc13
New Driver

Missing from this list is the campaign that introduced the Infiniti brand to the US by showing rocks, streams, and trees - but no cars - in the B&W TV commercials.  Wonder if that ad agency survived that blunder?  At least Infiniti did, but they started at a great disadvantage to Lexus that launched at the same time.

Egodriver71
New Driver

I thought the AMC Eagle preceded the Outback as a lifted 4WD wagon by a few years?

CarciergeGlenn
Intermediate Driver

Funniest car ads I ever saw, were from a dealer.  The "Trunk Monkey" series.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW8iAVwt_Yc   "I don't do probes."  

dough
Pit Crew

The single coolest TV ad for a car, ever.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L8QKK5IDSXE

Swamibob
Detailer

Huge fan of the Joe Isuzu commercials!  They made me want to buy an Isuzu.  Way too funny.

Not a fan of the Chevy Real People ads either.  Loved Crocodile Dundee selling Subaru's.  

js100
Pit Crew

The ESSO Tiger spots were created by a Madison Ave genius, Dale Wright.  He found a way to differentiate one gasoline brand from the rest (gas at the time, was exactly the same at every gas station).  He also created the concept and practice of "premium gifts", where you earned a free glass, plate, cup, cutlery after a fill-up, so you could collect an entire set for your home.  Dale created gasoline brand loyalty with those ads and promo programs.

Edwardsg
Pit Crew

Remember the Roadrunner ad, where they touted regular insurance rates?

ukaudiophile
New Driver

I think an honourable mention must be made of the superb SAAB ad directed by Tony Scott in the early 80's.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PM3woO0AbCw

Sajeev
Community Manager

That is a fantastic advert. 

61Rampy
Pit Crew

I thought it interesting that Paul Hogan, supposedly driving his Outback in the outback, had a left hand drive car- as did the guy chasing him.

1CATERING
Passenger

WHO IS THE WOMAN IN THE 1996 SUBARU COMERCIAL WITH PAUL HOGAN "THEIR STILL BACK THERE"