Lights, Camera, Inaction: 7 local car dealerships ads
Along with death and taxes, advertising is a certainty in this life. No matter which type of media one is trying to consume — network television, YouTube videos, songs on Spotify, even some streaming services — the ubiquitous retail commercial is nearly always present.
This assurance was even more so in the days prior to those aforementioned on-demand platforms. Those of us on staff at Driving who still hold an active Blockbuster membership will recall the family television (likely a wood-paneled Zenith, or a floor model if you were fancy) blaring out ads both national and local during TGIF or the supper hour news. Sure, mute buttons existed in the ‘80s and ‘90s but if the remote happened to be all the way across the room next to that inflatable chair, chances were you’d just suffer through the racket.
We’ve assembled a rogue’s gallery of these ads, almost of all of which have been immortalized on YouTube. This list does not include the many (superb) parodies of car ads that reside online, nor does it incorporate sales staff who’ve carved a unique niche for themselves with online personas — though we will give Mopar Brady a shout out, right here and now. Same goes for so-called ‘national ads’ produced by corporate entities and shown on a wide scale, of which there are also many hilarious and bizarre examples. Perhaps we will do a list of those at another time.
Kicking off our list is the impetus for this article — a Vancouver-based fever dream from the 1970s (weren’t they all?). The ad manages to include some sort of sea monster being foiled from terrorizing a romantic picnic with the rubber guard from a 5-mph bumper. We should all be so lucky to have Basil Plimley in our corner.