13 August, 2008

A Dark, Guilty Pleasure: Local Car Dealer Ads

I can't hide it. I won't hide it. Call me soft in the heart--or maybe in the head. But there is a piece of me who finds child-like delight in local car dealer spots. Particularly, those for Scotty Donahoo's Foreign Motors. Behold:

I won't get into a semantic debate about why these spots are or aren't awful. That would be like arguing whether or not rain is too wet. Sometimes the best spots are the worst. The Tao of Scotty Donahoo.

Donahoo's 30-second antics have transcended the business and transformed him into a bit of a Baltimore phenomena; it helped him generate serious attention when he publicly considered a run for mayor (NOTE: he couldn't do much worse than who we've got now) and even even inspired a Baltimore club scene remix.

The ads work for me because they don't work hard at all. It's just Scotty 'O, killin' 'em not-so-softly as he does some kind of car-huckster interpretive dance. He makes a total and awesome fool of himself--and enjoys every second of it. It's so unabashedly unconsumed. There's a lesson to learn from him, something I hear over on George Parker's space from time to time: People in this business take themselves too seriously. Stop.

Of course, I won't ever buy a Kia. From him or anyone else. But I like him for trying. And that's more than I can say for most spokespeople.

I'll leave you with this, an 80's car dealer spoof from a long-since defunct Baltimore production house. I think it'll provide just the right amount of perspective. (Warning, NSFW or the easily offended)

M.M. McDermott, ACD/Lease to Own

Previously in dinstinctively Baltimore ads: Local lawyer rains down golden shower of fire and brimstone.

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