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Great (?) Commercials--Subaru of America's "The New Look" (1969)

In the grand cinematic tradition of the action-packed Corvair in Action!, the romantic Koers Amerika met de Holland-America Line, the harrowing Death to Weeds, the insanely comic Inside Story of Modern Gasoline, and the groundbreaking classic Your Name Here, comes director Malcolm Bricklin's 1969 magnum opus, The New Look:

My comments come after the jump.

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The Last Saab Commercial

Among the projects Saab still had going at the end was a new crossover, the 9-4X, to be built at a GM plant in Mexico on a platform shared with the Cadillac SR-X.

MFX is a Swedish commercial media production company which has done the photography for Saab's advertising and promotions for some time. In an attempt to help its ailing customer, MFX offered to produce a promotional video for the 9-4X for free. Saab loaned MFX the prototype, and MFX spent a full rich day shooting footage of the car in and around the city of Gothenburg. It was edited together into this video for use by dealers in promoting the launch of the 9-4X.

Since there now will be no 9-4X, MFX released the video as a tribute to Saab. The music bed is "Make Yourself Heard" by Dutch singer Tara Teresa.

Considering the haste with which it was filmed, the video is remarkably good, and makes the 9-4X look pretty Lust-worthy.

We'll return to happier topics on Friday, with what you might think of as "a very Car Lust Christmas."

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

Face Off--Car Lust Film Festival

Car Lust is devoted, above all else, to the chronicling of the "irrational emotions" we have for our automobiles. In the past, we've talked about how that emotional connection has been exploited to sell us those automobiles, and even traced the practice of what might be called "Car Lust advertising" back to its point of origin (which is somewhere west of Laramie).

It's been a while since we've done one of our "Face Off" interactive polls. For this edition, we invite you the readers to be the prize jury at the Car Lust Film Festival. Vote for which of the following five commercials best communicates the Car Lust ideal. You can view them on embedded video after the poll and the jump, along with my comments on each.

[The poll widget is no longer available because has ceased operations.]

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Chevrolet: 100 Years Deep

Today is the exact 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chevrolet Motor Car Company by race car driver and engineer Louis Chevrolet, former GM executive William Crapo "Billy" Durant, and investors William Little and Edwin R. Campbell. This seems an appropriate time for a little reflection:

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Cars... for men?

Like the new(ish) Leaf commercial, there are a couple of other spots out now that struck me as both having a common theme (if not product) that brings up a topic I've contemplated for quite a while but could never quite figure out an angle by which to approach it. By "angle" I mean a way I could get it past the editors and not get slammed in the comments for being a VILE SEXIST PIG.

Err, anyway. I thought these two ads make for an interesting contrast in how each attempts to associate MetroRetro men with cars and also the particular male idiom each shoots for. The first goes with more of a modern man, maybe even a "metrosexual", while the second goes the "retrosexual" route. And they're both taking something of a bold non-feminine (though not anti-feminine) stance: We're selling to Men. Competing versions of Men, but Men nonetheless. They both say something about what society is going through at the moment, at least as far as pop culture is concerned, and I think it's worthwhile to look at it from our own little Car Lusty angle.

Do they work? Are they infuriating? You be the judge. 

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Great (But Frustrating) Commercials: Nissan Leaf

I almost never watch commercials anymore. Most of my video is of the streaming variety, either through Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, or YouTube. When I do take advantage of broadcast or cable TV, it's usually captured on my Tivo, where I can fast-forward through commercials. On the rare occasion when I'm watching live TV (usually sports), I'm often with friends and don't pay much attention to commercial blather. In the vanishingly rare cases when I'm watching live TV and aren't talking during the commercials, I'm usually mentally tuned out because most commercials are either obvious or annoying or both. This explains why, in true Car Lust style, I just recently viewed and am just now writing up an advertisement that originally aired three months ago.

Over the weekend, this Nissan Leaf commercial caught me in one of those few moments when both my television and my brain were tuned in, and I thought it was stunningly well-executed. It was frustrating, for reasons I'll get into after the video and the jump, but very well-done.

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The Future of Automotive Design and Manufacturing?

When I was about 8 or 9, I got a Hot Wheels Picture Maker for Christmas. (Little sister got the Barbie counterpart.) I was reminded of it last month when I read an article in TTAC about Volkswagen's new modular platform architecture.

What does a forty-some year old toy have to do with modern Volkswagens and Audis, and how does it relate (as the title of this post suggests) to the future of automotive design and manufacturing? Watch this vintage Picture Maker commercial, and I'll explain afterward.

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All-American Week: an Introduction

Welcome to All-American Week, Car Lust's commemoration of the 235th anniversary of American independence. We'll be hoisting the Stars and Stripes over the garage and devoting the week to cars painted in what one writer likes to call "the single most successful color scheme in world history"--red, white, and blue. We may even set off a firecracker or two.

To get you in the mood, here's the most intensely patriotic American car commercial ever made. I'll have some comments after the jump.

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Car Commercials during the Super Bowl

Best car commercial during the Super Bowl? Go.

(or best commercial featuring a car)


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Great Commercials--"The world belongs . . . to Lynx"

When I wrote about the Mercury Lynx this past summer, I lamented that I was unable to show you any of the memorable (to me, anyway) "world belongs to Lynx" commercials from 1980 and '81.

I am happy to report that this is no longer the case. Last month, the Huntley Film Archives posted a one-minute Lynx commercial from that ad campaign to YouTube.

I didn't remember this particular one, but the lynx, the big white sphere that turns into a globe (not bad for pre-digital special effects), the planetarium-style narration, and the dreamy Vangelis soundtrack were used in all the ads in the series.

--Cookie the Dog's Owner

Pictured above: This is a forlorn Chevy Vega photographed by reader Gary Sinar. (Share yours)

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