By on April 18, 2013

I do a lot of traveling (to such exotic places as Kershaw, South Carolina and South Haven, Michigan) in my travels with the 24 Hours of LeMons, which means I have plenty of dead time in airports to contemplate puzzling car ads. The Economist is the best possible magazine to have on hand when you get hit by a six-hour weather delay at George Bush International, because of its incredible bang-for-buck density. It’s clear that marketing flacks take the Economist‘s word for it when they talk about readership demographics, because the split between self-proclaimed readership (powerful and influential globe-trotting executives) and actual readership (geeked-out history/politics junkies with unkempt beards and Dead Kennedys T-shirts) makes for some entertaining car advertisements. Here’s one for the ’13 Lincoln MKZ, which attempts to woo the 72-year-old owner of a 6-store dry-cleaning chain into feeling that the purchase of an MKZ will transform him into a focus-group-perfect 42-year-old entrepreneur. Let’s take a closer look at what Lincoln’s marketers picture as the idealized MKZ buyer. (Read More…)

By on April 10, 2013

GM will resume advertising on Facebook, nearly a year after it ceased running ads on the social network.

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By on March 27, 2013

Ad Age is reporting that Ford’s advertising agency, JWT, has fired the ad agency staffers behind a pair of offensive ads showing bound and gagged women in the back of a Ford Figo hatchback. Ford is not, however, looking to change advertising companies over the fiasco. The images were created by JWT staffers in India and then uploaded to the ad agency’s website. Such ads are often created without client approval as a way for ad designers to bolster their portfolios and were never intended to become part of Ford’s official campaign to promote the Figo.

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By on February 22, 2013

Do you want to set a new world record and get you name into the Guinness Book? Nothing easier than that. Simply build a billboard with more than 183,024 LEDs and measuring over 28.0 meters in length and 6.2 meters in height, thereby exceeding a surface area of 174 sqm, and the world record for the largest illuminated advertising sign (indoors) will be yours. Until you do that, the record holder will be Nissan. (Read More…)

By on February 5, 2013

It is good to hear that bad puns have survived a decade of uptight up-positioning at Volkswagen, and are alive and well. You had me worried, friends. Under the tagline  “As sun as possible”, Volkswagen starts a digital campaign that brings the new Beetle Cabriolet to the Interwebs. (Read More…)

By on February 1, 2013
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Back in my college days, it seemed like every single Chrysler commercial featured a car that would morph from the old model into the new model.

Minivan morph. Neon morph. Intrepid morph. The technological transitions were quite well done, and I always enjoyed a commercial that reminded me of the movie “Terminator 2.”

But then I had a few ideas of my own…

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By on January 24, 2013

Our Managing Editor is losing sleep over the imminent collapse of the BMW and Mercedes-Benz brand images due to their upcoming sub-$30,000 models. When you are finished with your 27th viewing of Benz’s sneak peek at their Super Bowl ad above, let’s discuss.  (Read More…)

By on January 24, 2013

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Considering that it seems as though every other commercial on television follows the doofus male wise female plot, the new VW Passat commercial released just in time for the run up to the Super Bowl is hardly the most egregiously misandrist (yes, Virginia, despite what your spellchecker says, it is a word). With a tagline of “Pass down something he will be grateful for”, the ad shows a father in a shirt and tie teaching his son how to throw a baseball, in front of a Passat sitting in their driveway. Completely clueless about the mechanics of throwing overhand, but convinced of his knowledge of the subject, dad has form that makes “throwing like a girl” a compliment by comparison. He looks like a cross between someone putting shot and a gooney bird trying to land. The son dutifully imitates dad’s form, but with a skeptical look on his face. Neither can get the ball anywhere near the target.  I’m not sure the ad is on target either.

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By on November 9, 2012

The Chrysler New Yorker went through many variations during the television era, from Warsaw Pact-crushing expression of capitalist triumph to Slant-Six-powered Dodge Diplomat sibling to snazzy-looking LH. Along the way, Chrysler’s marketers created a series of TV ads that now tell the Thirty Years of New Yorker story. Let’s check out a sampling of those ads. (Read More…)

By on October 29, 2012

Chinese performance and graphic artist Liu Bolin is known as the invisible man. He has himself photographed after he’s dressed and painted himself to almost completely blend into the background.  Besides any deeper philosophical implications about the state of man in his work, the photographs are visually arresting and wryly clever. Someone at Ford or their ad agency must also be clever because they got an inspired idea: hire Bolin to make the dramatically styled 2013 Ford Fusion stand out in consumers’ minds by painting the Fusion’s competitors into the background. I think it’s a brilliant concept, but then I’ve used the portmanteau Camcordata myself to describe the relatively indistinguishable cars in the midsize sedan market. Making the Fusion’s competitors literally blend into the background effectively gets the message across that the Fusion is different. Do you agree?

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By on October 25, 2012

The Chrysler E-Class— based on the K platform and built for the 1983 and 1984 model years only— wasn’t quite as opulent as the car we associate Señor Montalban with today, but it talked! (Read More…)

By on September 10, 2012
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A hot tip from a few friends in my generational cohort, the ones who don’t drive or have any interest in motoring. They all love this ad for the Dodge Dart and encouraged me to check it out.

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By on August 23, 2012

 

You can see this ad. Television viewers in the UK can’t.  The Chevrolet Volt  is sold in the UK as the Vauxhall Ampera, and its ad has been banned by the UK Advertising Standards Authority. It says the ad is misleading. The ad claims a 360-mile range. GM is a serial offender when it comes to alternate realities, and this ad is the latest installment. (Read More…)

By on July 3, 2012

Bloomberg is reporting that General Motors and Facebook are talking again, in an attempt to get GM to resume advertising on the social network. Meetings between GM CEO Dan Akerson and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg were being reported.

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By on June 29, 2012

Right before AIDS and Reagan ruined the party, the early 1980s were a time of meaningless random sex, 20% inflation, sub-100-horsepower midsize sedans, Quaaludes, and— most of all— mountains of white powder (in imagination, not in the reality of the ’81 recession). This ad for the 1981 Ford Mustang captures the spirit of its time. (Read More…)

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