I love video displays at auto shows. For example, I’m hoping and really looking forward to Toyota playing the Swagger Wagon video on heavy rotation all day, every day this auto show season. I’m sure it will only start to get old after the first 17 times in a shift. My sources tell me Toyota is ditching the live performances this year (I know how broken up you’ll be about missing the Avalon Lounge Act) so they’ll need something eye-catching to fill the void.
Video displays at the auto show don’t get enough love or attention from consumers. It’s a shame, really, because what is put onscreen is often very clever. Sometimes they’ll even throw in some of their overseas commercials, and then you’re in for a real treat. Here are a few I hope we’ll see on overhead displays this auto show season.
I love the Volkswagen spot from Norway. It is compelling, has a surprise ending and makes you want to know more about the car. It is clear who the demographic is — 30-somethings (who may or may not be about to divorce). It reminds me of the Coors Light Cold Activated Window commercials in the sense that both feature men easily distracted by “man stuff.”
I dig the old school vibe of this Australian ad, but I don’t quite get who Kia is trying to market to. Over they have the bumpy dong ads catering to the minivan crowd. Over they have the hamsters trying to draw in a young, hip, urban crowd like they’re Scion or something. Now there’s a new ad showing a guy who wishes he were still young, hip and urban but actually part of the minivan crowd. This kind of thing can work for a company like Ford who has an extremely iconic and highly differentiated product line. Kia does not. I really like watching their ads, don’t get me wrong — they are very entertaining and never fail to make me smile. But I’m still not buying a Kia.
If you are railing against the corrupt consumerism of your obscenely wealthy parents (who sent you to an Ivy League school where you inexplicably studied art instead of business, you ungrateful brat) then it appears the Honda Jazz is for you. An actual line of dialogue: “It makes being judgmental of people who aren’t as cool as you even easier.” Finally, a car for sanctimonious goody-goodies that isn’t a Prius.
Talk about clever… Smart played this at a few different shows last season. Similar to the Volkswagen spot in that you’re not sure what it’s for until the big reveal at the end, the ad combines entertainment value with important information on the car’s most important safety system, the tridion cell.
Guess we won’t be seeing any more of these.
Perhaps Dodge’s Invisible Monkey commercial could distract you from the realization that the skin-tight, obscenely expensive designer minidress the model rotating in front of you is wearing was paid for by a bailout funded by your tax dollars that will not be paid back.
But really, just put my boyfriend Mike Rowe on a big screen, forgo any other bells and whistles (especially that scary robot) and Ford will have the happiest crowd in the convention center.
The Booth Babe is an anonymous auto show model who dishes about what really goes on behind the scenes. Read her blog at http://doyoucomewiththecar.blogspot.com. And if you treat her nicely, read her each Sunday at Thetruthaboutcars.com