Back in the pre-internet days, when television and print ads were king, car manufacturers (or more accurately, their ad agencies) worked tirelessly to develop campaigns that would stick with potential customers by relentlessly pummeling them with relevant slogans, jingles, and tag lines. It worked: Many of us find ourselves recalling long-defunct commercial themes without even trying, and surely we’ve all dropped car-ad catchphrases as pop-culture references a time or two. Oh what a feeling, Toyota, anyone? Or maybe it was a high-concept presentation that did the trick. Ford really went in for this type of thing, with insane truck demonstrations and stunts like the Tempo loop.
Coordinated marketing is still very much a thing, of course, but the brain-searing effect is blunted by the mind-boggling number of platforms and channels and personalities we consume media from – not to mention the ability to skip ads entirely when we do encounter them. So we expect you’ll respond with oldies for this edition of Autopian Asks, wherein we query you thusly:
What car advertising campaigns have stuck with you (for better or worse)?
Also, have any commercials and/or ads ever influenced your buying decision? Consciously, that is– who knows what kind of subliminal hijinks are going on!
To the comments!
[Editor’s Note: For me, it’s gotta be the Ford Commercials showing F-Series machines carrying and towing the competition up a boulder-hill (Peter alluded to these in his lede):
I just haven’t been able to get that image out of my head for over a decade! -DT].
Yesterday we asked for your feedback on car-feature subscriptions, and lot of you are not fans. Surprise level: zero. However, mature adults that you are, concessions were readily made for the idea that some updatable features do require time and expense to be updated by the manufacturer, and thus a subscription plan for a reasonable fee makes sense. But paying to turn on physical components already in the car? Do Not Want.
ExParrot nails it quite succinctly:
Hardware should never be a subscription, unless it too is regularly changed out.
In short, if I’m going to continually pay a subscription, the manufacturer should be continually incurring cost for the service that is provided.
Or, if you prefer a little more color, Granulated MC is less restrained. GTFO indeed!
Software is expensive to write. Paying something after I bought the car for a new application running on the same hardware is fair … [but] paying to activate equipment that’s already in the car and completely disabled until I subscribe? GTFOtta here. That’s 100% profiteering. The hardware is there. You paid for it. Charging me extra for something you disabled because you can is a protection racket.
Ruivo will not haul your junk, you hear that manufacturers?!
Don’t paywall stuff that I can’t remove, change, or use an alternative. Want to charge me for the equivalent of an ECU remap? Open that platform to competitors, so I can have a choice. Charge me for heated seats? Allow me to remove your hardware – or, better yet, allow me to operate the thing myself. If I have the hardware on my car, that I paid for, but I’m not allowed to use it, it isn’t really mine, it is the manufacturer’s – so please collect your junk, I don’t want to haul it around.