By on February 20, 2013

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.

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10 Comments on “Daewoo! The Lost Art of Macho Korean Car-Commercial Voiceovers...”

  • avatar

    The loaner Pontiac LeMans that my parents received while their Chevette was in the shop hold the honor of being the only car that was worse than the car it was replacing. Wow, what a pile of [email protected] that car was. It shook violently at any speed over 45mph and sounded like it was going to fall apart. It had an interior that sounded and felt like it was made of molded polystyrene like a Solo cup.

  • avatar

    12.8% Financing….wow those were the good ole days.

  • avatar

    Those Koreans better be careful with that attack helicopter.

  • avatar

    I thought that picture was of Airwolf!

  • avatar

    The Maepsy ad was awesome, now that’s how you get people excited about a Chevette. Sure its complete BS and it probably would have simply confused most Americans circa 1982, but it might get you thinking “I’d better check that thing out”.

  • avatar

    I was so happy to see an article on this. I’m one of those people who over the course of Youtube’s evolution, has scoured the internet for old car commercials from everywhere in the world. In Korea, the announcers are always under loads of reverb and echo.

    I specifically remember a Sonata ad in which the power adjustable drivers seat was continuously referred to as “POWAR SHIT”

    I also recommend looking up any ads for the Daewoo Espero. Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” was used along with a helicopter…looks like a Ridley Scott movie…

  • avatar

    Did that Chevette ad tout 42mpg highway in 1982..and here we are thinking anything over 30mpg highway is good in 2013…now thats what I call progress!

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