TV Car Adverts Have Become Boring

Article By 
Tom Matthews
January 14, 2018

TV Car Adverts Have Become Boring

Article By 
Tom Matthews
January 14, 2018

This week with Tom Matthews:
TV Car Adverts have become boring

With the Motor Industry being one of the biggest industries on the planet, and the fact that we use cars on a daily basis, it's important for the manufacturer to be able to advertise their cars to people like you and I, so that we will buy their product. Their adverts should aim to grab your eyes and have them glued to the screen, making you think in your head “Oh yes, this is the car for me.” However, most recently it seems that all car adverts have lost that special spark that they once had. Car adverts these days all look and sound the same. If you were to go on YouTube right now and type in 'Audi car advert' or 'Toyota car advert,' you'll be greeted with the same style of film no matter what the manufacturer is. 

You’ll click play on the video and you will probably be greeted with either one of two settings all car adverts have these days. Option one is that you’ll be witnessing some opening shots of a big city with massive gargantuan buildings towering all over the car, with shadows the shape and size of Godzilla looming in the background, or option two, you'll be greeted with a car driving down some country hillside roads, being driven by same man in glasses with a slight stubble, looking over to see his drop dead gorgeous girlfriend, or boyfriend, in the passenger seat.

Above: BMW proving that not all car adverts have to be boring.

And this isn’t just the case with Toyota or Audi car adverts, nearly all nations across the globe who produce cars, all their adverts follow this format, only a handful of these adverts stand out, and even then, they are no where near as good as what they used to be. Remember that advert that they used to talk about on Top Gear, and recreated in The Grand Tour? The advert about a man who owns a VW Sirocco. It was a masterpiece, with a wonderful meaningful monologue about how this man’s life is awful, but it doesn’t matter because he drives a Sirocco. That is what car adverts should be, the should be lighthearted humour, or just downright fun! Not all of this everything is happy, happy, happy, or everything is epic nonsense that we see these days. Yes, deep down inside we all want to be James Bond, blaring through the mountain roads in a stunning sports car, with an equally stunning girlfriend, or boyfriend, in the passenger seat, but the truth is, that will only happen to a very small handful of us and life is often miserable.

"I guess it’s safe to say BMW literally hung a butt out of the window"

Now this brings me onto the genius of online advert campaigns, because in no way shape or form do they usually follow the same format their TV adverts do. More specifically, this brings me onto BMW’s latest stunt that not only promoted their new BMW M5, but also lead to them breaking a world record. You may have read online this week that BMW set two new world records with the help of a mid-drift refuelling system, and if you haven’t then I am about to talk about it anyways. With the help of Danish racing driver, Johan Schwartz, BMW contacted him asking if he would be up for breaking the world record of the 'Greatest distance vehicle drift in 8 hours,' a titled previously held by Germany’s Harald Muller, with a record of 89.55 miles. A record that was completely annihilated by the M5, as they managed to beat that by over 143 miles, giving them a total of 232.5 miles drifted in 8 hours.

Above: The men who made the World Record possible

However, the whilst the record itself may sound pretty damn impressive, how they achieved to refuel the car whilst it was still drifting is even more so. Drifting a car at such high revs in a low-end gear for an extensive time will result in absolutely awful miles per gallon figures, so the running out of fuel was a huge problem. Now, when the original world record was set, the car that was drifted had a second fuel tank, so that the range could be doubled whilst the car was drifting, but for BMW that was too easy.

Instead, what they decided to do was to get another BMW M5 to drift, in tandem with the car setting to record, whilst an engineer balanced himself out of the window, with a specially adapted rig that would allow them to refuel on the go.  The man tasked at doing this goes by the name, Matt Butts, who is an automotive component specialist from the car website, Detroit Speed. I guess it’s safe to say BMW literally hung a butt out of the window to fill up their car…Anyways moving on from that awful pun, BMW recorded the entire 8 hours of the stunt and whittled it down into a three-minute online ad campaign, which in less than a week has already got over a million views, and this is the kind of spark that is missing from most car adverts.

 

I guess that in the world of television car adverts, the whole poetic monologues and funny gags are a thing of the past, meaning that all future car adverts are going to be Hollywood shot-style wannabe short films of cars being chased by aliens. But thankfully, not all hope is lost. It seems that the spark that was once within TV car adverts has now moved to the realm of the internet, making for much better and entertaining adverts, for now at least. That is until someone ruins social media by recording a dead corpse and posting it online, but I'm sure nobody is that stupid...

Tom Matthews

Tom is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. He's the face behind the iconic Gear Knobs series, which is recorded and edited in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V. When it comes to Tom Matthews, two things come to mind – cars and Jeremy Clarkson, and you can expect to hear a lot of that amongst his various ramblings and rants in his weekly Sunday column.