By on April 14, 2009

The background on this billboard: AutoInc owns/owned the two Dodge dealerships in Amarillo, and the single Chrysler/Jeep dealership. Under the influence of Chrysler, they split the stock from the Chrysler/Jeep store, closed it, and turned both Dodge stores into Chrysler/Dodge/Jeep stores. Of course, since nobody knows for sure what’s happening with Chrysler, the dealer is not gonna spend a dime on redoing their signage. Their compromise was to update a nearby billboard they lease just a block away from their I-40 fronting store.

Apparently, somebody didn’t bother to think past how clever they were trying to be: to realize that dodge ball is played by knocking out your opponents by hitting them with a ball. I’m not sure what “dodge ball” has to do with selling cars, or even why “having a ball” would be a good thing if you buy a Dodge (or Chrysler or Jeep). The negative connotations are so riveting I just can’t wrap my mind around why anybody would have greenlighted this.

Sadly, I know EXACTLY what happened since I used to work for the in-house ad agency that handles this dealership. In fact, I did that billboard for the dealership a couple of years ago. The entire agency functions like a camel (a horse designed by committee).

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6 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Texas Hold ‘Em Edition...”

  • avatar

    I think it’s kind of cleaver. “Having a ball” refers to enjoying the drive. To me it makes people stop and think about it, which is effective advertising just as we are now talking about it.

    And personally I always loved dodge ball!

  • avatar

    I would venture to say that a lot of young people have NO IDEA what kind of game Dodge Ball really is, simply because they haven’t been exposed to it.

    “What?” you say?

    Yes! After all, the schools have watered things down so that no kid is allowed to feel bad, sometimes to the point of allowing math, history, and English errors on tests.

    Some kids are not even allowed to play “tag” at recess because their self esteem would be damaged if they where to lose. Or (eep!) they might get hurt. Dodge Ball, along with climbing the “monkey bars”, would no doubt be COMPLETELY out of the question!

    This is not a new development, either. It’s very possible that some 20-somethings and 30-somethings have never been exposed to Dodge Ball. Easy to understand that they might misinterpret histrical cultural context of this game. Some of them write ad copy and/or design billboards…so there you have it.

    But maybe it’s not all bad. 20-somethings and 30-somethings also READ (or “look at”) billboards.

    Cultural accuracies notwithstanding, maybe the intended audience “gets it” in a way those of us in our 40’s and 50’s (who HAVE played a mean game of Dodge Ball) don’t!

  • avatar

    I think Will Ferrell will take care of our youth knowing about dodgeball. The only really bad thing about the billboard is the layout. Text should not have your eyes bouncing up and down like that.

  • avatar

    Nothing wrong with the billboard, actually.

    Furniture Row, however, is very wrong indeed.

  • avatar

    The thought of having a ball while owning any Dodge (Chrysler or Jeep)is preposterous!

  • avatar

    Maybe you get a free “eight ball” with every purchase?

    Billiards, Drugs, or Toys, something’s gotta move the metal.

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