4 of the most completely bizarre car ads to flight in recent times


Selling cars is big business. And video advertisements have a major role to play, from exposing consumers to new products to generally just increasing awareness around the brand.

Think back a few years and you’ll no doubt be able to vividly remember a commercial that likely still serves to define – in some manner, at least – that automaker for you. In South Africa, that may well be Volkswagen’s iconic “Memories” advert or indeed Toyota’s original RAV4 spot.

But sometimes automakers release commercials that make us wonder whether the advertising executives in question have been inadvertently exposed to some sort of super-psychedelic substance. Yes, just viewing these adverts can sometimes be a little trippy…

If the intention was to make these ads stick in our heads, then kudos to the somewhat unhinged minds behind them – we’ve got just two words for you: “mission accomplished”.

Still, that doesn’t make these remarkably odd commercials any easier to swallow. Scroll down and check out four of the most bizarre automotive adverts of recent times…

1. Hyundai’s Exobaby

“They made him a suit to make him more than human. He’s… Exobaby!” Yes, a Hyundai advert really does start with this somewhat strange collection of words. And it just gets weirder. The creepy little kid, complete with an “exoskeleton suit”, falls down the stairs, strikes a few martial arts poses and spends some, er, quality time on the big-boy potty.

After yet more off-the-wall antics, the narrator proclaims: “Let’s be honest: the baby in the suit is you in the new Hyundai”. Wait, what? This is an advert for an actual motor vehicle? We thought the sci-fi channel had been mysteriously blended with Cartoon Network…

Okay, we’ll give the Korean automaker some credit: it at least managed to link a few of the new Sonata’s more interesting features – such as blind-spot monitoring, a forward collision warning system and automated parking – with the peculiar, tech-laden robo-baby. But we’re still more than a little confounded.

2. Fiat’s “Endless Fun”

Here at Motorburn, we obviously bear a fairly hefty soft spot for .GIFs and memes. But why on earth would an automaker deem them appropriate for a television commercial? Yip, Fiat took its “Endless Fun” campaign – which was apparently originally thrown together for use on Tumblr – and plastered it all over TV in the United States.

Now, you may be saying: it can’t be that bad, surely? It is. It really is. The clips feature everything from a rabbit twerking against a Fiat 500 to actual horses being released from under the bonnet and a tiny mini-skirt being blown up by a passing Fiat (okay, we won’t say we didn’t enjoy the latter… just a little). Overall, the word “strange” wouldn’t do this campaign justice.

Neither would the word “cash-intensive”. In fact, the brand’s US marketing chief, Olivier Francois – the chap responsible for unleashing this advertising abomination on the world – described the series of adverts as “crazy weird, crazy fun, and crazy cheap to produce as well. Maybe a new culture of commercial.” Maybe not, Ollie. Maybe not.

3. Toyota’s Porte bird-thing

Okay, we admit it: just about any car advert from Japan could’ve legitimately snaffled up this spot. Yip, some truly weird commercials flicker across the Land of the Rising Sun’s numerous television sets each and every day. But this one’s particularly special.

The advert in question shows off features of the Japan-specific Toyota Porte — a fascinating mini-MPV based on the popular Yaris — in the most bizarre way. It stars a half-man, half-bird character who flies around a park with what appears to be his daughter riding on his back. And, as we all know, a day of wing-flapping will leave the average bird-man (and his human offspring) utterly exhausted. Even if said flying creature has no wings.

Of course, the Porte’s clever (and utterly massive) sliding door on the passenger side makes it easy to load the sleeping kid into her car-seat — and there’s plenty of space for our unfeathered friend and his colossal noggin back there, too. Feel as though you’ve just woken up from a bizarre dream? Us too. Still, the single YouTube comment on this video sums things up perfectly: “Never change, Japan”.

4. Audi’s Doberhuahua

We’ve become somewhat accustomed to premium car brands attempting to seduce us with slow-motion shots of swoopy bodywork (both of the automotive and female variety), drool-inducing driving roads and clever tag-lines. And that’s why German manufacturer Audi’s two-minute-long 2014 Super Bowl advertisement for the A3 sedan caught us a little off-guard.

The commercial kicks off with a couple standing in a pet store, struggling to agree on which pooch to take home: a Chihuahua or a Doberman. A somewhat creepy salesman then suggests that they “compromise and breed ‘em together”. The “Doberhuahua” is thus born in the twosome’s imagination, and goes about wreaking a particularly special brand of mutant-canine havoc upon an unsuspecting city. Credit where credit is due: the ad’s not completely devoid of humour and seems pretty well made, too.

But while we can certainly see how the payoff line — “designed without compromise” — relates to the CGI-hound’s questionable antics, we still think the advert’s plot is an utterly absurd and fairly disjointed way of arriving at the clincher. Surely something more direct would have sufficed? But hey, what do we know: according to Business Insider, the commercial was a “huge hit”. Seems weird can work.



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