Daewoo never had much of a presence in the United States, though I do see the occasional Nubira in the junkyard. That’s too bad, because Korean-market Daewoo ads of the 1970s and 1980s have some of the manliest/cheeziest voiceovers in car-advertising history. Let’s take a look at some examples of the genre.
This LeMans GTE ad features weedly-weee action-movie guitar, a pleather-clad babe executing a pseudo-J-turn, and an attack helicopter. Let’s compare it to the US-market ad for the same car, which was sold as the Pontiac LeMans.
There’s a babe with product-enhanced hair driving to the beach, but the entire feel of this ad is one of diminished expectations. Clearly, GM should have brought over some of Daewoo’s Korean marketing wizards.
Back in South Korea, the ’86 LeMans showed the way to a hard-hitting, testosterone-pumped future. It’s like a kick in the teeth from Syngman Rhee himself!
Not that Daewoo didn’t get a bit touchy-feely with this “sell stuff to the world” ad, but at least they brought in a deep-voiced hired voice and then added serious echo to it.
The Maepsy was a member of the Opel Kadett/Isuzu Gemini family, which means we’re looking at what amounts to the Korean Chevette. At the 1982 Daewoo board meeting depicted in this ad, the suits are flat awed by this car. Imagine if this ad had been adapted to the American marketplace for the 1982 Chevette. Maepsy!
Instead, here’s how Chevettes were sold that year. Hell, it’s enough to make a man want to buy a Fiat Strada!
If we fast-forward to the late 1990s, the US-market Nubira could have benefited from this approach. Note the badass voice of the yokel mechanic, as mandated by the Daewoo Macho Voice Creed.