The objective of every product is sales of every product.
The marketing of a product has often led to iconic phrases that rise into common clichés that brand permanently with a time and place.
Plus they put products like hamburgers (‘Where’s the beef?”) and beer (“Tastes great-less filling”) into everyday shallow pop-speak for parrots.
Car manufacturers have always looked for a phrase that they hope will become a cornerstone of their product.
Chevy hit one right out of the ball park in the 50s with Dinah Shore and “See the USA in a Chevrolet“. Non US residents “saw the world today” in their Chevys, but the basic message was the same.
The concept of a car wrapped in a catch phrase will always be the ultimate goal for every car maker, so we thought that we would assemble some of the better ones.
Here, in no particular order, are some of Detroit’s pitches over the past 50-odd years.
The 1963 Corvette was a very unique sports car. It needed a phrase to signify speed because it looked fast even parked. General Motors advertised that people should “Come to the go show” and the General wasn’t wrong.
The Hail Mary pitch for Oldsmobile in the late 80s was “Not your father’s Oldsmobile“. It was an effort to gain a foothold with a younger buyer because Olds customers were typically older-give or take a 442. The current absence of the Oldsmobile brand probably indicates a slogan that missed the mark.
Chrysler celebrated the dawn of the fin with “The Forward Look“; a catchy phrase that marked the start of the legendary 50s look for Mopar. It was a space age success for Chrysler in an era when fins ruled Detroit.
Pontiac produced “The Ultimate Driving Machine” with its sporty GTO model in 1967. Poncho changed its tactic after a 1966 GTO campaign attempted to turn a goat into a tiger and suggested that customers “See it (Tiger/GTO) in captivity” at their local Pontiac dealer.
The feline theme was resurrected by Ford in the early 70s with 1973’s “Sign of the Cat” slogan that celebrated models like the Cougar and Bobcat, as part of a larger nimble Blue Oval brand.
The mid-60s brought the “Dodge Rebellion“ to the car game. The campaign was an effort to add a little grit to a brand that now featured a monster Hemi in its stable.
The 1964 Ford asked people to “Try total performance for a change” as the Big Three waged an unholy horsepower war on the street and on the track.
The 1971 Camaro advertised its handling with “The Super Hugger”, a campaign that promised a sports car road-handler from GM.
Sonny and Cher were perceived as a hip act in the late 60s. So hip that Plymouth borrowed ‘The Beat Goes On’ for their ’68 ad campaign song and philosophy. Somebody probably should have just said no to drugs in 1968.
Ford decided that “There was nothing newer in the world than a ’58 Ford”. At least until they put a ’59 Ford on the car lot.
Undoubtedly we left many classic slogans on the table, but we can always return to this subject.
It will make Madison Avenue happy.
Jim Sutherland mystarcollectorcar.com
More on cars, trucks and the people that love them at https://www.mystarcollectorcar.com/
BOB:”What about the one in the fifties that said. ” buy our ******* we’ve got the biggest bloody fins you’ve ever seen ” was that one? No maybe not”.
DENNIS:”Yup, a few more come to mind, if you’re my age. Like “The Fabulous Hudson Hornet”, The Duesenberg “It’s a Duesy”, and dare we forget. “The Tin Lizzie” for the Model T Ford”.