Why Do Carmakers Keep Asking Us In Ads To Find Things?

Apparently, this commercial for the 2014 Mitsubishi Outlander has been out since June, but I haven't seen it until just a couple days ago. Much like the new Outlander, it's mostly forgettable. Maybe I have seen the ad before, but I probably just mistook it for a black screen.

It's 30 seconds of nothing being said, which is impressive when there's a voiceover for most of those 30 seconds. But I think the point of the ad is that you should buy a Mitsubishi Outlander if you want up to 31 MPG, seven seatbelts, "advanced safety features," and if you like using your nav system to get lost and "Find Your Own Lane" as it says at the end of the ad. Now where have I heard that before?


Oh right, from Chevrolet. Chevy's been telling us all year to "Find New Roads" – which of course, was a lot like a Saab campaign – to mixed results. I tried to defend it, but the more I see it attached to things like the Malibu, it sounds like even the ad people couldn't find nice things to say about it.

Which is why Mitsubishi totally failed here. Maybe they should've just looked to the first Outlander campaign in 2003-or-so and played a song for a minute. There is absolutely no informative information about the car, other than it's a Mitsubishi, it's a crossover and it starts under $18,000. OK, that's a bit harsh, considering it's clearly shown it causes you to daydream about giving rides to your wife, child and friends going to a crossdressing party or something. Come to think of it, that's probably what the target demographic is looking for in a car like the Outlander.

But here's the lesson for carmakers and ad makers: don't tell us to find stuff. The only time you should be finding new roads or your own lane is when the road you want to go on is blocked. That means traffic or weather or something that isn't a positive. Worse, it implies you couldn't say anything about your bland new car.

Unless you were Saab and thought your new car appealed to people who wanted to be different for different's sake. To which, I totally understand.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter


Tom McParland

Automakers...VW knows how to make a car commercial, go steal their ad people. Here is their most recent work.