A week in America has convinced me once again that a lot of British telly advertising is so inventive and witty compared to the rather more simplistic hard sells you get across the pond. Even so, why are car ads so depressingly dull compared even to those pushing cat food?
We all know the weary tropes: attractive couple driving car around Mediterranean, implausibly young parents driving around with photogenic kids or, the worse one of all, car being driving at moderate pace round laughably empty road.
What you never see is quick car being driven to its full potential on the type of roads that we all recognise. And for that you mainly have to thank the vice-like policing of the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority) who ban any hint of the association with, or glorification of speed. Many have fallen foul of its rulings too.
All of which is why Peugeot’s new ad for the special edition 208 GTi is rather refreshing see as it shows the car being driven on maximum attack, revving out to the red line, oversteering on ice and there’s even a crashed helicopter for good measure.
The ad is itself a ‘sequel’ to a classic 205 GTi ad from 30 years ago, which was itself a tribute to a James Bond-style film.