Professional driver, closed course. How many times have you seen that line run across the bottom of a car spot? This line is meant to tell viewers that the driving they're seeing is not real, and that they shouldn't try it. Um, what? Safety schmafety, am I right? Let's take a minute and check out some of the more fun automotive work that's being used to sell cars today.
First up, Mitsubishi Ride the Storm.
Mitsu wanted to show off the technology that powers their all-wheel control systems. So they waited for a storm, and rode it until it died. From California to Kansas, this fun spot (I'd guess there's a longer version soon to come) shows Mitsubishis being used to chase storms. They even got meteorologists to help out.
Why it's good to see: Come on, they're driving into a storm. That's not safe! But if there was a "professional driver" disclaimer, I missed it. I was watching, waiting to see what happened next. Now, I love cars, so I don't want to come out and say this is the future of automotive advertising! But I will say that it was different, and I learned something while being entertained. Job done.
Next up, Chevy's campaign for the Sonic.
Woo! This is an energy filled campaign for the new Sonic, which is a little econo-box marketed toward the youthful driver. In this campaign, the Sonic gets dropped out of a plane, bungee jumps, does a kick flip and stars in a music video. Yes, the beginning of the video overtly states that you shouldn't try these tricks. But at least they're actually dangerous. And that the Sonic can handle the pressure makes it all better (with some mods, of course). This is straight up fun, and that's why I like it.
MINI All the Wrong Places.
Here's one from MINI in conjunction with Vice. Partnering with Vice (disclaimer -- I've worked with Vice, on a campaign for Lexus) says something about the brand, that they understand what it takes to make good content and they're willing to experiment. Vice does a great job of digging up really interesting stories, in this case All the Wrong Places takes a MINI Coupe to a bunch of seemingly random locations and tells a simple story along the way.
My favorite so far is a trip to Sweden's micronations, Jamptland and Ladonia (am I spelling those right?). At times the conversation broaches politics, a subject brands are typically reluctant to get anywhere near. But MINI takes it all in stride. And you know what? It's actually pretty fun to watch.
And that's what's key to all these campaigns. They're fun to watch. They extend the brand into new territory. They get the car off the wet track and into situations that are inherently interesting. Kudos to these brands for taking risks, with style, and without apologizing for it.