Why do Carmakers Sell Looks, Not Cars?

How many vehicle commercials have you seen lately? Up until this week, the 2014 run of commercials continued to promote the way their cars look, lifestyle choices, and facia.

The Buick “Hmm” commercial, one of the most viewed this year, deals strictly with the new look of their line-up. With good reason, the automakers are inviting customers to “take a fresh look” at the vehicle line whose name has become synonymous with retirees over the last 30 years.

Cadillac is busy selling an epic lifestyle (one for the centuries) with their “Evolution of Indulgence” commercial featuring the 2015 Escalade.

This week Dodge infused some humor into the usual traditional American vehicle company repertoire with a series of spots starring former star of The Office Craig Robinson and New Girls over-the-top funny man Jake Johnson. Calling them “Don’t Touch My Dart,” the four 30-second advertisements don’t really even feature any than the actors and the new Dodge Dart (mostly stationary) with one exception- this gem featuring the Dart’s in-car call-answering feature:

The humor is a refreshing change in the ad campaign strategy but still nowhere close to Toyota’s “Swagger Wagon” spot:

When are carmakers going to go back to selling cars? When will they take a cue from BMW, Mercedes, and Lexus and begin selling the vehicle- it’s not something that should be reserved for high end vehicles? Here’s our favorite art-meets-vehicle ad so far this year:

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