I Don’t Understand Car Commercials Anymore …

When I was a kid, September was always a month of renewal. We went back to school and started over in a new year, sometimes a new building, with sometimes new kids. All the new TV shows came on, or the old faves came back, with new stories and new characters. And the new model years of cars started. My dad always seemed to buy a new car every 3 years in September, purchasing whichever new model caught his eye (we went through 3 new Chevys in 9 years, if memory serves me).

Lately car commercials have been bugging me.  Hyundai has some crazy guy lurking in a dealership, bugging people. Honda has the obnoxious, aging, blonde, flip-flop wearing, surfer dude bugging his co-workers. Are they car commercials or NBC sitcoms, filled with annoying, unfunny “characters?”

And Subaru … well, Subaru is the most mystifying of all. Subaru has a campaign called “Love,” which shows all the memories that come with a car. There’s the commercial where the dad cleans out his car to give to his daughter and remembers all the high points in her life this by now ancient vehicle has reached (note to Dad: Clean out your damn car more often!). There’s the guy who takes his dog on a bucket list trip, including to get the dog laid. Subaru what are you selling here? Schmaltz? Anyone can do any of these things in any car, or are you saying great, heart-warming memories only come with Subarus? Are you telling us that your cars last forever, therefore there’s no need to buy a new one? Isn’t that a tad counterproductive?

Look, ad agencies and car companies, it’s simple: Show me the damn car, tell me the deal, list the options or special features, add some cool music and get the hell off my TV set. High- (or low-, depending on your opinion) concept car commercials are not necessary or appreciated. Stop trying to tell stories and just sell cars.

And while you’re at it, can we have a moratorium on emo-music in car commercials, too?


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