If a commercial has one of these tropes, we can't stand it.
A good commercial can do wonders for a new car model. We've seen some awesome commercials like Audi's holiday shopper ad and BMW's uncomfortable M4 GTS spot. Both hit a home run because they contain a product truth. Unfortunately, not all car commercials manage to sell us on a car. Some cars just don't have a lot going for them, and marketing teams need to rely on cliched commercial tropes that have nothing to do with the actual car. Here are five of the things that drive us nuts in car commercials.
The first thing that drives us nuts is when a brand claims that one of their products is a race car. Nissan is famous for doing this with the Altima, in a commercial where it expects us to believe that anyone thinks a sedan with a CVT is anything like its race car counterpart.
Our next gripe is with "real people" commercials. This has gotten so out of hand that a whole YouTube channel has been dedicated to making fun of them. These commercials are so unrealistic, with supposed "real people" coming in and being "wowed" by a bunch of Chevy products. Sorry Chevy, but we don't know anyone that thinks a Malibu is $80,000.
One of the most overused cliche in car commercials is showing the car driving on a mountain road. We admit that showing the car on a winding mountain road can be an effective tool to sell a sports car or sport sedan, but when a brand is trying to sell some boring crossover, it just doesn't work. No one buys a Honda Accord or Ford Escape to go canyon carving on the weekend, so automakers should stop insinuating that people do. Save the mountain road cliche for cars that actually deserve it.
One of the biggest gripes with all commercials, not just car related ones, is when it has nothing to do with the actual product. One recent example is when Land Rover had people jump out of a plane just to show how its seats could fold via a smartphone app, or those Matthew McConaughey Lincoln commercials where he just talks about random topics. When the commercial ends and we can't even remember what car was being shown, it has to go down as a failure.
Marketers need to focus on a product truth or else the commercial won't be effective.
Our final gripe is a trend that happens more on a local level. We're talking about car commercials where a local dealership tells you about some fantastic lease or finance special on their cars. Then, when you go into the showroom you find out that the deal only applies on some base model that the dealer doesn't even have in stock or requires perfect credit and an 84-month loan. Usually these commercials play around with the numbers so that they can sound good on TV.