Journal: Weekend Playlist #6: The Seven Sins of Car Commercials

Weekend Playlist #6: The Seven Sins of Car Commercials

By Petrolicious Productions
April 17, 2015

This week, we wade into the rich world of car commercials. Once used to promote speed, beauty, durability, and agility, modern commercials are often filled with faked stunts, gimmicks, and strange plots.

Let’s rewind the clock, then, and appreciate classic car commercials—we’ll use the seven deadly sins as our guide.


Fast cars, sexy shapes—what makes you fall in love with a car? Volvo thought it was the speed of its wagon, the seminal 740 Turbo. For a Dodge Charger owner, it appears as though his car was the cause of much lust among women…


Selling excess has long been a tenet of the auto industry—first, a Dodge owner learns that in the eyes of the law, his car is closer to a race car than road car. Second, this compilation from the King Rose Archives showing that there’s no shame in being a car salesman.


Greed? There’s no better way to begin with a wealthy man’s last will—and those who will be quite angry after they hear what’s been left to them. As the desire to acquire more than one needs, on the right, the King Rose Archives has created a compilation to show how far car companies will go to prove that their vehicles are much more robust than the viewer could ever need…


As the failure to do things one should do, these commercials prove there’s no excuse for not owning a car. Yes, Subaru really does call the 360 “Cheap and ugly”.


OK, so we’re not able to exactly use “wrath” in this context, but putting classic cars through stunts is kinda wrath-ish, right? First, Volvo spends five minutes hooning their range across Sweden’s snowy landscape, and then Carroll Shelby makes a spirited getaway in a red Cobra because, well, performance is his business.


It’s new, it’s different—you’ve got to want it! Hoping to create feelings of envy among drivers without the new turbocharged Oldsmobile Jetfire, this commercial sadly didn’t do much to help sales. Next, Fiat spends almost three minutes extolling the virtues of its X1/9…but some of us here are still not convinced.


“Have you ever wondered how the man who drives the snow plow, drives to the snow plow?” asked Volkswagen—months later, they’d win gold at Cannes in 1964 for this commercial. On the right, Esso shows that when you’re on the top of the world—as Jim Clark was in 1963—enlisting the help of the Formula 1 World Champion makes selling gasoline look easy!

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Marian Dumanayos
Marian Dumanayos
9 years ago

Nice collection. Thank you for sharing this wonderful vintage cars to us. Looking for more info about it.
Be with us here—>>>increase soundcloud re-posts

Nuno Relha Vaz
Nuno Relha Vaz
9 years ago
9 years ago

Nice collection. I always remember this Saab ad from the 80’s but it was maybe only in the UK;

Andre L  Hulstaert
Andre L Hulstaert
9 years ago

Another great, and politically incorrect, commercial is for the Tatra 603 –

Have fun !


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