Can a vehicle commercial be good?

Recently, I have been paying more attention t0 commercials. This may be due in part to having cowritten and starred in a short information video; in part to having friends in the communication field; and in part to learning more about the role of social marketing.

Now, I promise that my blog posts will not be rants. However, I do have a complaint about a certain motor vehicle commercial that I have wanted to voice for awhile, but I thought I had better find at least one example of a good motor vehicle commercial before doing so. Thus, here is the complaint, followed by a couple more positive comments.

Ford F150: Ok, so I am not the target audience for this product, but should I walk away from this commercial feeling offended? When I have seen these commercials, I am not at all captivated by the truck. I am totally distracted by the message Ford is sending — engineers are guys. I am sure there are female engineers working for Ford and I wonder what they think of these commercials? The engineering profession (at least in Canada) is trying hard to attract more women; these commercials are frustratingly counterproductive. Ford’s communication team should have come up with a better campaign.

Hyundai Sonata: I appreciate the Live Smart idea and give Hyundai a huge round of applause for not only reducing waste while making these commercials, but also publicizing it (i.e. raising awareness about how much waste has traditionally been involved with producing a commercial). However, how much waste happens during the production of these vehicles? How much carbon would the average Joe produce driving these vehicles? Hyundai (and the vehicle industry in general) still have a long way to go, but this is definitely a good marketing campaign.

Kia Sportage: Now, I have to say, this is likely the most realistic motor vehicle commercial that I have ever seen. For example, in the wilderness, you can see that the Sportage is actually getting dirty. There is a city scene, where you see other motor vehicles (albeit they are parked on a side street), and not just a big open highway. And of course, there are bikes. I am happy that some people in the motor vehicle industry recognize and have publicly acknowledged that motor vehicles are not the only things on the roads.

So, to answer my own question: yes, a vehicle commercial can be good. Just like with anything, being authentic and not generalizing are good qualities in a vehicle commercial. At least to this consumer.

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