Unlikely Car Ads: Buy A Ferrari, Get A Free Oil Change

May 14, 2010

I was recently watching the latest series of the Cadillac CTS television ads, and something about that luxury marque made me think. You know there are some things that an automotive-obsessed human is unlikely to see in a lifetime: a car ad that doesn't use the cliche of an upwardly mobile, under 40, scruffily unshaven male in a mauve blazer thinking he's Mr. Macho as he jams the automatic into Drive or an oil company that says "hey, our profits are high enough, so let's gouge less for gasoline." And the least likely to be seen, a car salesman that doesn't say "let me check with my manager to see if I can give you that price."

Or a Ferrari car ad on TV.

I have spent many of the last hours surfing for awesome car ads, whether they’re from Asian, European or American backgrounds, and one thing dawned on me, I couldn't find a Ferrari car commercial at all. I say 'commercial', those things reserved for the masses that have 30-second slots on all manner of shows seen by everyone the world over. I am not talking about the tons of footage out there on the web, or better yet on Ferrari.com, which contains so much great video, audio and still images that you could spend hours (especially at work) just watching all the great prancing horses they have produced on every road and race track the world over. I really mean a car ad.

Ferrari has never lowered itself to go the route of the car ad, and there are many good reasons, despite the marketing contradiction of ignoring this prime media channel. What this brand has cultivated is a magical mystique based on monumental automotive achievements, achievements that center around performance and phenomenally gorgeous designs. Ferrari is the pinnacle for many automotive junkies and it has made its products so desirable it doesn't need a car ad to tell the world how great it is--just ask any gearhead.

But something irks me--Ferrari has a phenomenal web presence, as I mentioned above. Check out how much there is on that site. Let's face it, if you're on the web with all those video clips and images, you aren't so exclusive anymore, are you? And Ferrari has broadened its wealthy reach by building an amusement park for the super-wealthy in the Middle East. An amusement park? This is higher-end than a car ad? And what about all that branded Ferrari gear you can buy, like a tricycle (I swear). Doesn't this make a Ferrari a little less noble?

So why can't Ferrari make a car ad for the rest of us so we can watch it on TV or our multiple portable devices, with some well-groomed, sun glass-wearing Italian gentleman revving the engine of a V-12 or V-8 gasoline-fed symphony. And then he steps out of the car and says something in Italian like: "Sell your house and buy this, you'll be happier." Or "Buy a Ferrari and get a free oil change, this week only."

Come on Ferrari, give us a car ad.

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