We humans are so inclined to just throw things away after they’re not pristine anymore. That’s especially true of cars, even well-loved and well-worn ones that could still work just fine with a little love and care. And this video will make you feel less inclined to dump your old beater car for something shiny and new.
Generally, we try not to just show current automakers’ commercials here—if people want ads on Jalopnik, they can pay for them—but this one, from Ford Netherlands, is so well-done and compelling that I think we’ll make an exception.
Here, have a look:
You’d never see this ad for an American market because car marketing in the U.S. is loathe to show The Brand’s products in anything other than pristine condition.
But not here.
That little Euro-spec maroon-and-some-silver-bits Focus has led a hard, full life, and it shows. Common age- and use-related ailments of these cars are clearly displayed, like the missing fuel filler door or the broken-off door handle, with a blunt honesty and shamelessness.
As the older mechanic looks at the car when it rolls up, brakes squeaking and the slight whine of a slipping belt clearly audible, the look of grim appraisal he gives is almost parental.
He’s looking at the car, and seeing (perhaps imagining? It’s not clear, and it doesn’t really matter) the life this car has led. It’s been an exuberant life, with off-road hooning and run-ins with the law, and a lot of carelessness and fun.
Then there’s the part where the Focus confronts its own mortality, or perhaps the mechanic imagining the car’s possible fate—a fate he soon decides he’s not ready to resign this plucky little battered, tape-girdled Focus to, and so he nods the car into the shop.
The way he evaluates the car, with some dissaproval, and then acceptance, is almost as though he’s accepting a child back into his life after a long, difficult absence. The child bears the scars of a wild, hard life—perhaps tattoos, literal scars, and so on—that suggest choices the parent may not be happy with, at all.
But in the end, it’s still his kid, and that’s never going to change.
This is a hell of a lot to get out of an ad for Ford’s Dutch service network. And somehow it’s managed to make me sort of want a beat-to-shit early 2000s Ford Focus.
How the hell do you do that, you cunning ad people? Get out of my head!