Why People Love Car Ads

When you think of car advertisements, what comes to mind? Closed course driving while avoiding pylons? Ambient music playing as a sleek sedan snakes through the city at night? Or an overweight man standing on a car lot, shouting prices at no one, while a big inflatable animal floats behind him?

No matter what type of car commercial your mind wanders to, the fact is that anyone who watches television has obviously seen a car commercial or twelve, and can describe one in great detail if challenged.

Adweek has compiled a list of the most watched commercials on Youtube of all time, and six of the top twenty fall into the automobile category. We thought more people would be interested in watching the commercials for snacks, or soft drinks, or those late night chat lines with the pretty girls who just want to laugh with you about literature and current events over the phone, while they roll around in their nighties. Alas, it seems like North America is way more into cars. Why? Owning a car has become just as much an aspiration as owning a house, and since car companies are fighting against one another for consumers, a greater ad presence is required for the automotive industry.

According to a report by Borrell Associates, a consulting firm based in Virginia, U.S., advertising spending in 2012 is predicted to total close to $31 billion. Not all of that money will be thrown into commercials, but a great deal will be, and since we’re the United States’ upstairs neighbours, we’ll be inundated with many of their ads. Because car companies put so much money into their advertising, it stands to be reasoned that they know their audience, and they know how to sell to them. The Superbowl almost always has funny, creative car commercials that go viral, and those are the ones that get watched millions of people, especially on Youtube.

But no matter which celebrity you get to voice it over, or how much digital animation is employed to create those furry little characters in B-boy outfits, all car commercials are essentially the same:

“You’re single, drive this cool car!”
The cool single guy drives through the city, taking corners like a pirate takes his plunder. Hugging a tight turn, the driver catches a woman’s eye, but he doesn’t notice. Or does he?

“You have kids, get this cool car!”
Hey, remember when you were cool and single? Well you have kids now, so here are some images of people driving with their kids. You know what that’s like, right? Because you have kids, too! Everyone with kids needs this car, so you’d better get it soon. Because soon your kids will grow up, and you’ll have no need for this car that’s perfect for people with kids.

It’s a pretty simple equation, isn’t it? No matter what colour frosting you put on top, a vanilla cupcake, is a vanilla cupcake, is a vanilla cupcake.

What do you think? Why do people enjoy car ads so much? Let us know in the comments below.



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