2012 Super Bowl Car Commercials: A Collection of…

February 6, 2012

So the Big American Game happened yesterday and to be honest, I couldn’t be bothered to watch this mega-hyped sports-event where ultra-testosteroned, overly-padded/helmeted men rough one another up over the snarling possession of an inflated pig-skin… Said game occuring somewhere amidst the deluge of non-stop adverts reminding us of ‘who brought this to you’, a silly lip-synching girl flashing a middle-finger (oh good heavens) and a washed-up, embarrasingly-painful-to-watch pop-Diva strutting-up her idea of ‘the greatest show I’ve ever done for the greatest show on earth’ … Dear Lord.

Madonna - scary and unfathomable

Not forgetting the idiotic/annoying orgy of streaming banners and flashy camera angles for this ‘show of all shows’ either – Needless to say, for this scribe it’s all, well… a bit much.

Yet, as is the tradition that always outweighs and ultimately gathers more of our collective attention than the actual Game itself, the extended-length TV-spot adverts were what nearly everyone ever talks about in this TV-obsessed western world of ours. Most viewers simply tune-in to the Super Bowl broadcast just so they can catch the expensive Game-Day adverts…. Really..! Car-adverts included, of course.

Clint doing his best to inject a gritty, serious and weepingly patriotic tone to describe America's upcoming '2nd Half'

Here then, is a selection… some of them are even the extended versions!

Volkswagen – The Dog Strikes Back

KIA Optima – A Dream Car. For Real Life (really…? A wrinkly Motley Crue, in your dream…?)

 Acura NSX – Transactions

Honda CR-V – Matthew’s Day Off (not quite sure if a rather bland/boring CR-V would be the vehicle of choice here…)

Chevrolet Sonic – doing human ‘extreme’ things

Chrysler and Clint Eastwood – It’s Halftime America (bit of an anthemic heart-tugger here)

 Fiat 500 Abarth – Seduction

Lexus GS – The Beast (Lexus’ first-ever SuperBowl advert… not bad, not great)

Toyota Camry – It’s Reinvented 

 Chevy Silverado Trucks – End Of The World (quite possibly, the stupidest car-commercial I’ve ever seen – complete with an out-of-place ending stolen straight from the movie ‘Magnolia’)

Audi S7 – Vampires (riiiight…)


-Blake J. 

Car Commercials: When Cars Started… erm, Talking

January 19, 2012

The 1980’s were undeniably desperate and challenging times for the various American automakers. Ever since the previous decade’s fuel-crisis and the follow-up onslaught of frugally economical (and lightweight/well-built) cars from Japan, Korea and Europe showing up on Dealer forecourts (and eventually owner’s driveways), the American automaker was forced to change and adapt with the times or be left out wondering what happened to their once-burgeoning command of the home-market.

K.I.T.T. made it alright for cars to voice-up their opinions and concerns.

Yet as the 80’s wore on and the ‘Big-3’ of the North American auto-landscape caught on (sort of) to the public’s desires and wants and subsequently dished out lines of wheezing, comically-sprung and legislatively-enforced under-powered vehicles, the overall mood of the automotive arena (as mirrored in the advertisements of the day) started to… shift…. in a rather strange and almost unsettling way.

Herbie the Love Bug - Genesis

Suddenly, cars from all walks of makes were awarded oddly bespoke identities and even started voicing their way into owner’s daily-driven rituals (step forward, yappy Nissan 300zx of the late-80’s). The car commercials of the time even went one step further with this odd phenomenon…

Here we have two shining examples of this ‘new and playful identity’ via Ford in 1986 when vehicular advertisements were cresting the brink of becoming absolutely ridiculous…

-Blake J.

A.I. Top 12: The Strangest (best?) Vintage Japanese Car Commercials

October 3, 2011

Everyone does Top 10 lists, so we’ve decided to make this a Top 12 (mostly because we couldn’t bring ourselves to omit anymore of these gems).

In the wonderfully ambitious world of auto advertisements where promises are made, claims are staked, enthusiasm is comically forced and motoring dreams are realised, it’s a fair assumption to conclude that sometimes things get a bit confusing, over-zealous and, well… just slightly weird during those precious 30 seconds of your consumer-based time.

TV commercials generally blend themselves into your daily viewing atrocities, yet singled-out on their own the ads almost seem to take on an absurd level of ridiculousness and inspirational gusto. If there was a selling-theme to be found, the ad-men would find it and exploit it – even if it made absolutely no sense, whatsoever.

Here then, is a collection of the stranger side(s) of the Japanese 30-second automotive commercial… in no particular order.

-Blake J.

-Datsun Samurai – 1981

Troubling day out in the fields with an arrow-wielding Samurai on horseback chasing you down…? Pffft… Outwit the fella in a Datsun, of course..! Though, the end shot is rather confusing…

-Toyota MR2 – 1985

For those pesky moments when your mustachioed self (and gal) get caught inside a Pinball machine game…

-Mitsubishi Sigma – 1983

Your floppy-disc (Australian) future is here…!

-Toyota Celica – 1977

If you could take a car into outer space I’m not so sure if this would’ve been my first choice back then… But hey, the ad worked. Toyota sold a TON of these.

-Nissan Skyline – 1983

Awkwardly placing Hollywood stars within automotive ads is a long-standing tradition, but this one with Paul Newman just reeks of “Hey buddy, can I borrow you for 5 minutes..?”. One for the Japanes market. Awesome.

-Suzuki Alto – 1982

Woman drives Suzuki to meet friend in City Square/Park to eat a crepe. Child peddles along in one of the coolest contraptions I’ve ever seen. Both women eat crepes and chat. Woman gestures a condescendingly naughty/weird tick-flick/giggle towards child on pavement playing with a toy truck (same child..?). Child indulges a hands-on-hips-of-innocence laugh/glance back to women and laughs hysterically, nearly falling over… Who’s child is this…?! w.t.f.

-Datsun 280ZX 10th Anniversary – Black Gold..!

Bit of a classic here, yet how could we not include this…?! There are so many levels of awesomeness going on within this commercial that it almost leaves you speechless… More car-adverts should be like this…!

-Mitsubishi Lancer Fiore – 1983

I’m just… I… don’t know what to say here. A bit budget-constrained to hire a moving, breathing model for the ad…? Best car for hillside late-night City-gazing..? Great music translation though.

-Nissan Stanza – 1991

FAIL. $100 says he still went and bought the Camry.

-Toyota Corona – Not sure what year, doesn’t matter.

What the… James Bond inter-spliced intro, action shots, explosions and dubbed vehicular sounds…? SOLD!

-Mitsubishi Colt – 1986

Unchain that beast, will you. Almost looks kinda cool in that glossy black… in a guitar-shredding, Neon-based world, that is.

-Honda 600 – 1972 – Dealer Advert.

Not an ‘official’ commercial from the manufacturer, but oh-so good nontheless… ‘So you need to drive and park’ …Yes, I do… Kinda cute though, isn’t she…?

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