Here’s a challenge: from the message alone,
can you identify the automobile featured
in each of seven 1997 car advertisements?
The Printers Devil asks you to examine seven magazine advertisements for competitive automobiles. These 1997 car ads all appeared during October 1997. The headlines and body copy, i.e. the written words in each advertisement, are printed below. There are no other words in these advertisements. Each ad does bear the brand-name and a photo of the car.
Read the copy, guess the brand and/or model and judge the advertisements by a) appeal to buyers, and by b) appropriateness of the creative approach. The actual advertisements are reproduced at the bottom of the post. Each is accessible immediately from a link beneath the descriptive advertising copy.
As you read the advertising copy for each advertisement please keep in mind that these all came from creative departments of advertising agencies. Artists and copywriters developed each advertisement and an account executive presented the concept to the client’s advertising manager. Lots of professionals approved these advertisements. Would you have approved these for your company’s advertising? Do you agree that these advertisements “sell”?
Mystery 1997 car ad #1
The copy reads: In the blink of an eye it’s gone. The 195HP V6 for powerful passing. The high-performance suspension for a superb ride. The transmission that shifts imperceptibly. The responsive , variable-effort steering for precise handling. All that remains is the burning desire to drive it.
Mystery 1997 car ad #2
Headline: Instead of just reading about adventure imagine having one of your own.
The copy reads: Imagine yourself in a ( automobile). You could fill a few books on the shelf with your own experiences. Here’s to setting off in search of them—in a versatile (automobile) like the go-anywhere, pack-anything (model). We designed it to surround you and your family in comfort. And threw in a sliding rear seat to accommodate virtually anything or anyone you’ll be taking on your next great adventure.
Mystery 1997 car ad #3
We understand that to grow up big and strong and stable takes a really, really, really long time. It takes more than days or weeks or months. It takes years and even decades. To grow and nurture and develop into something that stands proud and magnificent. Pay tribute to the determination required to produce such hearty roots. And let us all live by its simple creed: grow, blossom and flourish.
Mystery 1997 car ad #4
Dear Mrs. Responsible; You never missed a school play. You remember everyone’s birthday, including your father-in-law’s. You never went on a golf weekend. With all due respect, Ma’am, you’re due. This is (model) by (automaker), You can get a supercharged engine. It’s bigger than some minivans but it only seats four. So it’s not the perfect family car. That’s the point.
Mystery 1997 car ad #5
There is no body copy.
There’s a line of type at the bottom of the page that reads: It’s hard to imagine a better way to have fun in nature than with a (automobile)
Mystery 1997 car ad #6
The more you pay, the more you get.
Is this: A) False B) Untrue C) Crazy.
We don’t want to confuse anyone out there. Some people do get what they pay for. Others get much more. Maybe they know something the rest of us don’t. Or maybe they simple drive (automobile) It’s loaded with gadgets you usually get in more expensive cars. Gadgets that help make it easy to own. Like a theft-deterrent system and battery-rundown protection. But—get this—at $12,808 you don’t pay a lot. You get a lot. Honest.
Mystery 1997 car ad #7
“my, my, how things have changed.”
The right-hand page has a good sized photo of the automobile and the copy reads:
If you live ling enough, you’re liable to see just about anything. Pictures from Mars. Presidential candidates blowin’ the sax. The Macarena. Next thing you know, somebody will be telling you with a straight face, that the (model) has even changed too. Well guess what, it has. It’s secure, quiet and more powerful than ever before. The all-new 1998 (automobile). Proof that small steps can indeed lead to one giant leap.