When Your Commercial Is Trying Too Hard

Everyone wants their commercial to stand out, and for automotive companies, this can be a particularly difficult feat. However, you need to be careful not to go... overboard.

Everyone wants their commercial to stand out, and for automotive companies, this can be a particularly difficult feat.

With so many manufacturers, models and dealers to choose from, we are inundated with everything from talking dogs to screaming men dressed in presidential garb.

One recent trend is to (hopefully) make the commercial a bit of a teaser – interesting enough but vague enough that the consumer will go to the manufacturer’s website to watch additional videos.

A recent example of this sort of extended advertising is the 2016 XC90 Volvo commercial. The abbreviated version is utterly confusing. There is an older woman driving, a young man sitting next to her, an older man twirling a wedding ring in the back seat and pictures of a young woman just married.

I watched the commercial last night with my husband, and we were both baffled.  Who got married?  Did the older man’s wife die, and that is why he is twirling his wedding band?  What is the commercial about? 

Plus side

It made us watch the commercial again just to try to figure out what the heck was going on. And that is always a good thing.

If you google “Volvo Commercial” you’ll actually see several Facebook discussions with people trying to guess just what was going on there. All good. 

Very Negative Side

I had to call and ask my husband what brand the commercial was for in order to write this blog.  I could NOT remember.  And that is as far from what a commercial should be aiming for as possible.

Also, people were not doing what the company intended/hoped.

There is actually a much longer version of the commercial that makes it much more clear what the story is – but people weren’t watching it.  Much easier and more rewarding to simply blast in on social media.  

Bottom line

Yes, a commercial should be interesting and possibly even intriguing.  And if it can push consumers to your website – that is a definite win.

But this one is just trying too hard to be interesting and forgetting to actually sell the car.