Journal: 7 Promo Films For Cars That Didn’t Even Need Them

7 Promo Films For Cars That Didn’t Even Need Them

By Michael Banovsky
September 24, 2015

Photo by Gil Folk

Ferrari must have known that the F40 would be a sought-after car, and yet it decided to make a glorious promotional video, featuring lots of driving footage, great sounds, and a look at the car once reserved exclusively for those who were lucky enough to watch the actual VHS tape.

The Porsche 993 and the BMW E30 Series cars are some other now-successful models that enjoyed some captivating promotional film treatment. So sit back, relax, and imagine you’ve just been mailed a VHS tape from Volvo, with a bright yellow wagon on the slip case…

This is how you sell a car that needs no advertising—except, of course, when the F40 owner’s friends visit and want to know what the car is like. “Ferrari just sent me…”

“Porsches have great density of thought,” Jerry Seinfeld says at one point in this official video for the 993-series 911, after saying the one line that has stuck with us since seeing this in the ’90s. “Truly simple, but not boring,” he says of the car. How 911.

The first time I saw this, I was amazed: McLaren thought to rig up a camera and microphone for the driver on his way to hitting 241 mph…in 1998. On the right, the Porsche 928, shot in a way to make the car look exceptional to someone who’d buy a 928 in 1986. Cue the rulers, computers, and low production tolerances! 

Jaguar XJ220 “The Official Story” features the strangest opening sequence I’ve ever seen, with the supercar traveling at more than 200 mph to music that can best be described as “unfortunate”. Then three minutes pass and you’re tapping your feet.

With its slow rate of sales, however, maybe the XJ220 really did need a bit of promotion—just not like this.

BMW fans, this is how the company promoted the still-sought-after E30 3 Series range—(of course) including the M3. Volvo fans, on the right you’ll find the soaring guitars used to sell the wonderful 850 T5-R. 


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michal dimage
michal dimage
8 years ago

Ahhh the 850 T5-R, thanks for the video and even in yellow…

Ian Miles
Ian Miles
8 years ago

More informed comment from the Guitarman. The 850T-5R sold out pretty much as they came off the production line. Volvo cars have always sold well in Europe where sophistication and safety were and are more of a priority than the US.
The 220 which was a not a sales success. That was as much to do with the collapse in supercar prices and demand as a result of the 1990 recession as anything. It held the fastest ring time between 1992 and 2000. The car to beat it’s top speed was the F1, no mean feat. When release it got positive reviews from journos. Second hand prices are climbing. By way of comparison, the F1 was similarly unsuccessful in terms of sales, also released in the same period. The 928 was designed specifically not to appeal to hardcore Porsche owners. it was the first GT the company made and was very innovative, not something Porsche can even spell. Sought after in Europe. So that leaves……

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
8 years ago

Pardon me but I beg to differ . Both the Jaguar XJ220 as well as the Porsche 928 were in desperate need of promotional videos and a whole lot more seeing as how the XJ220 was an abject failure on all counts [ especially sales but inclduing performance as well ] and the 928 to this day has still yet to of gained acceptance amongst the hard core Porschephile crowd . The Volvo ? Volvo’s have always needed a serious promotional boost regardless of the model as they’ve always sat on the edge of the sales abyss .. and still do to this day

As to the rest though ? The header says it all … 😉

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