By on April 10, 2020

With no reason to risk going outside and industrial news at an all-time low, I’ve retreated into curiously dry hobbies as a way to maintain my sanity.

A substantial portion of my time has been devoted to parsing through old automotive catalogs and marketing materials. As someone who is notoriously difficult to shop for, dusty paperbacks that can easily be found for a nickel at any estate sale turned out to be ideal gifts… and I amassed a sizable collection. Over the weekend, I found myself going through vintage television spots — noticing they’re quite a bit different from the ads we encounter today.

While automotive marketing has evolved through the ages, there was a long stretch of time where companies basically just filmed a car driving around as a disembodied voice explained its strengths. This was back when advertisements featured voice-overs telling you that “Quality is Job 1” at Ford, or a choir of voices joyfully acknowledging that they absolutely loved what Toyota was doing for them.

Today, I’m celebrating the 30th anniversary of a totally mundane promotion from 1990 called “National Cadillac Week.” While the free AVIS rental and cash back on your purchase weren’t unusual (then or now), I happened to encounter it exactly three decades after it originally aired — as if destined by fate. It was a glaring reminder of how much car ads have changed in that time period. (Read More…)

Recent Comments

  • Russycle: I wouldn’t say great, but Farley and Spade certainly had chemistry. I was visiting a retirement home...
  • SCE to AUX: “until the public decides automotive pricing has become untenable and stops buying — opening the...
  • 28-Cars-Later: @Crosley Neat hack, though everyone has told me to remove the mechanical fan and replace it in the I...
  • DenverMike: Not unlike lunch, nothing comes for FREE(!). When turbos consume just as much fuel as the NA V8s they...
  • 28-Cars-Later: Volvo eventually outsourced to GM for A/C in the 200, in the 800/*70 (P80) I’m not sure who they...

New Car Research

Get a Free Dealer Quote

Who We Are

  • Adam Tonge
  • Bozi Tatarevic
  • Corey Lewis
  • Jo Borras
  • Mark Baruth
  • Ronnie Schreiber