After seeing those bizarro-world disguised Silver Shadows in that Grey Poupon commercial a few weeks back, we Jalops have been hyper-aware of the secret underworld of car-identity modification. Our very own Mike Spinelli found this excellent freak-mobile while closely scrutinizing commercials for secret coded messages to him from the future ghost of William H. Macy. The commercial was for Ameritrade, and the car was a BMW 2002 with the face of a Chevrolet C-10 pickup truck.
That's quite an unholy mix, though the ending result is not bad, and in some ways becomes even more than just the sum of its donors, much like that other famous Teutonic-American collaboration, the hot dog. The Chevy grille appears to have its formerly black-painted areas painted silver to match the overall grille, and I'm not sure where that bumper comes from.
The 2002 is likely a later, rectangular-taillight one because, come on, who's going to do this to an early one, and the front fenders appear to be modified to remove the indicators and fit the new grille. The hood looks normal, save for the fact that it would look pretty wrong and fit horribly if actually closed.
Cars are disguised in ads for the same reason brands and logos are obscured: everybody likes to sue everybody.
Logos and obvious brands have been obscured for years, though in the past you were more likely to see a car with removed or obscured badging as opposed to the more dramatic disguising and cosmetic procedures we're seeing today. For some of these cars, like the Rolls Royces in the mustard ad or even the BMW 2002, you could argue that the whole car needed a more dramatic change since the car's look is so distinctive as to be identifiable beyond badging. I wonder if soon we'll start seeing fewer cars that are hard to disguise easily, like VW Beetles or PT Cruisers or the like.
Now that I think about it, there must be certain cars for whom there are unspoken agreements. Volkswagen Beetles come to mind first, because they're quite common in mass media and among the most instantly recognizable vehicles. I'll try and follow up and see if any exceptions are made to the usual rules for those and other distinctive cars.
Anyone seen any other unholy mashups made in the name of commerce? Post 'em in the comments so we can all gawk!