Curious why automakers are struggling? Look no further than these ten terrible car commercials. Celine Dion, suicidal robots, and contagious catchphrases combine to make us want to never buy another new car again.
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Not even musical superstar Celine Dion, seen here in full-on 1980s dance mode, could make the Dodge Colt appealing to a mass audience. In fact, Celine Dion may have made things worse by convincing people they'd scare people away and randomly set fire to parking meters if they purchased one. "Run for your lives! Celine Dion is driving another Chrysler product!"
Is All My Children actress Susan Lucci really the best choice to be selling a family van? While it's true she's part of a family, they've had some bizarre things happen to them. Perhaps this concern explains why, for no apparent reason, Susan Lucci is playing a thinly disguised character from Star Trek: The Next Generation. Since they didn't secure the rights to Star Trek she doesn't get "beamed up" but rather beamed into some sort of strange space above the vehicle just a few feet away.
Chrysler hoped, in vain, a series of minor upgrades to their unpopular models would mean enough sales to prevent them from going under. It didn't work. This ad doesn't work either. Though it's trying to show off how Chrysler engineers are listening, it instead comes off like the company's engineers are so dumb they required a complicated and somewhat creepy trip to the woods to make the connection.
Triumph gained a bit of a reputation for poor performance, poor handling, and poor quality in this country. This advertisement for the Triumph Spitfire is meant to be "clever" but instead reminds us of all the problems the car faced. We've watched this commercial many times and have yet to fully ascertain the meaning. Perhaps there was a mistranslation from English to English? Talk about being divided by a common language...
Every time country music star Toby Keith touches a Ford truck he has an Amerigasm. Most of the Keith + Ford commercials are light-hearted fun, but this "Working Man" commercial puts the musician into the role of a modern day blue collar worker who, perplexingly, is a one-man construction team. We imagine he probably scared the rest of his crew away by randomly breaking out the guitar and jumping on equipment. Given Keith's wealth and spectacular grooming we don't buy the Willie Loman act.
Before Renault went off to buy Nissan and AMC merged with Chrysler, they briefly tried to sell their own cars in America. And to sell cars in America in the 1980s you better have The Pointer Sisters singing "I'm So Excited." Unfortunately, the product wasn't quite as exciting as the song. Sure, there's a Jeep driving off road, women flashdancing, and 80s yuppies laughing but it doesn't work for all vehicles. Why is the woman leaning all the way back in that Alliance? Why do they all live in a ghost town? Why do they show the same video of a Jeep Wagoneer twice? I'm so.. I'm so... scared.
This ad, which aired during the Super Bowl, was so bad GM quickly released an edited version and tried to purge the original from our memories. But we remembered. In this commercial a friendly, WALL*Esque robot accidentally drops a screw and is treated like an outcast, sent to live on the streets. After a series of odd jobs the robot decides to jump off a bridge. Given how many people GM had to "let go" and the glib portrayal of suicide, it was a massively stupid thing to do before an audience as large as they one they got during the Super Bowl
Hey, remember the 1970s? We wish we didn't either after seeing this commercial for the Black Gold Edition Datsun 280ZX. We're fairly sure this concept was dreamed up in the back room of Studio 54 after a long night of enjoying black tar heroine and goldschläger. Why is everyone so sweaty? What's with the huge porn-stache? Why can't we stop watching it?
Toyota deserves an award for alienating the most people possible in 30 seconds without the use of politics, violence, sex, or profanity. At the center of this commercial is the chorus from the song "Saved By Zero" by the band The Fixx. Unfortunately, Toyota used only this ad for a major blitz and it was therefore possible to watch TV during certain sporting events and see it at almost every commercial break. It was so bad a number of people launched online petitions to "make it stop!"
If you haven't noticed by now, the 1980s is the best decade for the worst car commercials. We can't imagine how expensive this ad was to produce, but it's like a German surrealist film combined with a Cyndi Lauper video to create what we imagine is the closest approximation of one of Prince's nightmares ever put to celluloid. Men in jorts with suspenders, unitards, bad 80's hair, and a chorus that's more infectious than the Ebola virus combine to seriously freak us out.