About Me

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
My passion is also my business, as I am with the Toronto based Hav-A-Kar Auto Group. I sell or lease any make of car, van or truck available in Canada. My interest in all things "car" has helped me with my many clients in Ontario over the past 20+ years. Please give me the opportunity to assist you.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 24: Those strange ads

Print ads for cars and accessories. Getting folks limited attention and getting it quickly is the name of the game, or at least it used to be, so that is why all the ads I'm featuring today are not quite current (not by a longshot).

Some poor shmo named "Tiny" has his Porsche for sale and wants to get your attention.........

Think about it. Is he trying to sell this to someone who is considering penis enhancement therapy, or otherwise, or is he just stating the obvious for someone looking to get into a lightly used German sportscar? Either way, he gets our attention in a kind of unusual way (I wonder if he sold his Porsche?)

Honesty in advertising? Daihatsu sure nailed it in this ad for their minivan, you know the kind that sells well in most countries, not including Canada or the USA. Great ad, but honestly, does this poor guy think that this van would pick up anything, other than a bunch of kids going to soccer practice and possibly their moms?

Delusional? Of course, but feel his pain, since even Tiny or Joe's Porsche is going to be too expensive for this guy. A fella can dream!

And talking about dreaming.........

......this ad for an early '50's Henry J is just plain laughable. Don't know this car? Not surprised. This was a plain Jane, cheap (in every way) car introduced to a car crazy American public at a time, when they weren't looking for a smaller car, or at least a cheap smaller car. The first ones didn't even have an opening trunk. Sears tried selling an almost identical version, called the Allstate. But a sports car? Not a chance and everyone knew it. So this ad is a complete joke. Get people's attention and then let them down.

And this ad is almost as laughable, although we didn't know it at the time.........

Ford shows all those costly collector cars and hints that their upcoming Pinto might be in the same category. Well, as you know, it wasn't. Better to have said, "Have a blast in your new Pinto!", if you get my meaning. And unfortunately, it would have been the honest to goodness truth.

Another Ford ad, meant to test the bond of a good marriage? Not necessarily, but it got your attention, right?

Maybe, she should swap places with the poor under achiever in the Daihatsu van?

Now let's go way, way back..........

Who wouldn't want a car that could take you to church on Sunday and then plow the fields on Monday? Just add the handy Pullford and sell your pesky hay eaters. Now, considering that the car in this add, was only a few hundred dollars, the Pullford was very costly. Maybe, it would have been better to keep your old horse after all?

And saving the best (at least in my opinion) for next to last.........

What a clever accessory(?). Use your car's exhaust to clean the upholstery and at the same time, leave the lasting smell of exhaust fumes in your car's interior. Wrong in so many ways. But what the heck did they know back in the '20's and '30's? They probably knew that, there was a sucker born every minute.

Remember this one?

A classic. Simple, to the point, humorous. Almost as funny as the underestimating of their diesel's emissions, but it got readers's attention immediately and in this case, probably held it, as this is something they would talk about around the water cooler.

Try to find ads these days that, strain credibility or are at the very least funny. Tough to do, but when and if you do, please let me know.

Until next time........


  1. Some of those ads are silly but to anyone in the journalistic field, 'hooks' are the tool that must be used if you want to get a potential buyer's/reader's attention. Writers, whether they're making ad copy or trying to sell their own works, tend to get creative. When I was attempting to find a publisher for my first book, I got rejection after rejection but got more creative the more queries/sample chapters I sent out. I remember asking one publisher to at least read my samples before putting it into the shredder; I told another one to send the shreds over to shipping to use them for packing fodder. At least I could tell people that my works got shipped out with those of some famous author. It didn't get me published but it did draw a few laughs and a referral that DID (for what it's worth) land a publisher.

  2. I like a good "hook", but even to an extreme optomist, that Henry J sportscar reference is way over the top. Good story, George. What is your book's title?