Rare Marketing

2 min read

Your massively undercooked take on the world of advertising.

Zed’s dead, baby.

Back in 2014, ABC made a promotional video for the Indy 500. But instead of doing the same old driver-zooming-around-the-track-to-hair-metal promo, they tried something new. Something risky. Something terrible. Something with a full-body latex suit, regurgitation, demonic voiceover, exploding white veins, a masked bodybuilder growling like a lion, and a bathtub full of milk. While I’d like to get back to White Snake and the aspirated roar of V-6 twin turbos, it’s great to see the Gimp still getting work.

Fohr times the legal limit.

Apparently, IndyCar drivers used to be portly, goggled-up fellas with a penchant for fine spirits. Former 1950’s Indy 500 driver Myron Fohr exemplified the stereotype, and capitalized on his passing fame with this campy endorsement for Blatz Beer. In an ironic twist of self-fulfilling prophecy, Mr. Fohr’s best finish at the Indy 500 was fourth; it was a performance described by most racing historians as “Blatzy.”

Jam that in your tank.

Italian automaker Fiat isn’t exactly known for quality. But they are known for pushing the boundaries of advertising, which includes this weirdly captivating Super Bowl spot from a few years ago. Why are Fiats so unreliable? Maybe because they’re shoving sexual dysfunction drugs into gas tanks instead of building a decent engine.

They’re boxy, but good.

For decades, Volvo has tried to convince us they make the safest cars on the planet—and they’ve done a pretty good job (which isn’t too hard, considering it might be true). But they didn’t always tout safety first, as illustrated by some truly great print ads from the 1970’s and 80’s. If this one were real, I’d already own one of those sexy, steel boxes.

The m5 gambit.

It all started with a simple BMW print ad and an innocent allusion to chess. Audi sensed weakness and struck first with a prominent, snarky billboard in Downtown Los Angeles. What escalated was a full-scale billboard war involving lots of chess jokes and a dirigible. The Germanic civil war continues today as a proxy conflict—no word yet on how Merkel will attempt to broker the peace.