December 26, 2010
Annals of Awful Advertising: Dodge Challenger Battles the Brits
This Dodge Challenger ad debuted over the summer with some connection to the UK-US World Cup game, but I only saw it today during football games. Dodge must really like it, but I found it to be baffling in design and message, and nothing that made me want a muscle car (like I did when I was 11 years old).
The ad's ending voice-over extols the American knack for cars and freedom, after Challengers rout a British redcoat contingent during the Revolutionary War. The mournful music sounds like a riff on "Ashoken Farewell" as featured in Ken Burns's monumental series "The Civil War."
None of this sells me on any benefit of the car, and it makes me look askance at the overall message, since the British have been American allies for the last century, at least. I like a good flag-waving image as much as anybody, but this gratuitous slap at an ally, with some extremely forced and fake patriotic message, drives me away from the product. The lead car is driven by an actor dressed like George Washington, in a style that reminds me more of wretched President's Birthday sales-athon ads than something airing on national TV.
Finally, for a patriotism-drenched ad, Dodge ends it with a curious color combination. Instead of red, white and blue, the final shot shows red and black, which must be colors associated with Dodge but to me they look like some kind of raging anarchist banner, or something from Franco's Spain. The image adds the final strangeness to an ad that, if nothing else, stands out in a world of fairly bland automotive advertising.
For great car advertising, nothing beats Kia's Super Bowl ad for the Sorento, which introduced me to the song :"How Do You Like Me Now" by the Heavy. This is an ad I can watch over and over for the brilliant melding of music, imagery, cultural overtones from a half-century of movies set in Las Vegas and even the message: Expect the Unexpected.
Van | 12/26/10 at 07:53 PM | Categories: Tedious details
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Anonymous | December 26, 2010 07:53 PM