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Devilish Ads Don't Showcase the Product

March 05, 1998|DENISE GELLENE

Advertiser: General Motors

Agency: Campbell-Ewald Advertising, Detroit

Challenge: Appeal to motor sports enthusiasts by emphasizing the sporty side of the Chevrolet Monte Carlo.

The Ad: In a TV ad, a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo covered with decals is bumped by a competing car as they speed along a track. The driver, seven-time Winston Cup stock car racing champion Dale Earnhardt, morphs into Warner Bros.' Tasmanian Devil as the voice-over explains, "Inside every member of Team Monte Carlo, there's a side that's kind of wild." Making a pit stop, the Tasmanian Devil consumes auto parts and then returns to human form. "Team Monte Carlo," a voice-over says. "They're hungrier this year than ever."

Comment: With Earnhardt at the wheel, the spot will probably get the attention of motor sports fans. But the spot isn't the next Hare Jordan, a Nike ad that teamed Michael Jordan with Bugs Bunny and later became a movie. The Tazmanian Devil, with its voracious appetite for auto parts, doesn't showcase the attributes of the car. $$

*

Ads are rated from $ to $$$$, based on tastefulness and probable effectiveness, with $$$$ being highest.

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