Citroen Knew How To Sell The Hell Out Of A Car Back In the 1980s

When it comes to automotive weirdness, Citroen is usually the Reigning and Forever King. No one comes close to challenging them. That weirdness usually extends to their ads, as well, which usually just leave us scratching our heads. But when they weren't being weird, they were being brilliant.


You might be wondering what's so great about this ad for the Citroen AX GT, but it's actually a lot smarter once you get below the surface. You might be wondering what's up with the references to a boxer who had his heyday more than 30 years before, and who had died in the 1960s, but the truth of the matter is, it was a bit clever.

The whole Rocky series of movies was still huge – like, ridiculously, enormously, monstrously big – in the late 1980s, and as such the branding rights must've been accordingly expensive. But you know which guy, who was also a boxer, who was also named Rocky, didn't cost as much?

Rocky fucking Marciano.

Other little neat advertising tricks are thrown out here as well. It's got "120 horsepower per ton!" If we're being honest, most laypeople might not know what that is, relative to other cars. If you say one car has 200 horsepower and one car has 300 horsepower, well that's pretty simple. But if we're talking about power to weight ratios, then that involves some math, and math is hard.


And 120 hp/ton sounds pretty impressive. Never mind that if you got into straight power figures, the AX GT's 86 horsepower and 86 pound-feet of torque weren't exactly earth-shattering. But then again, straight-line performance wasn't really the intent of this dart-y little supermini. The whole thing weighed less than 800 kilos, which is basically the same as a shopping cart when you're drunk and don't have any real shopping to do, so all you get is chips, nutella, and a random snuggie.

So it really wasn't very leaded at all.

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