Anyone else find those Buick commercials a little creepy?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Joseph DeMartino, Oct 25, 2002.

  1. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    You know, the ghost of Harley Earl ones?
    Most people seeing these will, of course, not have a clue who Harley Earl (sp?) was, and the earliest commercials didn't bother identifying him. (The first one I saw, several weeks ago, just had this ghostly guy blathering about how he'd come "back" to design me a great car.)
    What the heck is the point of these ads, that dead guys from the 40s can do a better job of designing a car than their current employees? (That's entirely possible, of course, considering some recent GM offerings. [​IMG])
    And how does his family feel about him being ressurected as a pitchman?
    I just find the whole thing odd, and a little bit ghoulish.
    Regards,
    Joe
     
  2. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    I'm sure his family has given the go ahead for these commercials and is making royalties from them. It's too easy to sue someone these days so I'm sure they have their arses covered.
    Being a Mopar person I don't think it would matter if they raised Jacob Marley's ghost to do a commercial..I still wouldn't be interested in a Buick. [​IMG]
     
  3. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Joseph, I've been thinking the same thing. I didn't have a clue who he was, and I thought that maybe Buick was coming out with a new model based on an old concept that had been updated or something. Is that the case? If not, I don't see the point of these ads.

    /Mike
     
  4. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    The point of these ads I believe is to bring back the "old glory" of Buick. Kind of like saying we have brought back the "spirit" of a late great car maker and are getting back to our roots. I got the commercial the first time I saw it, I still don't like Buicks tho....
     
  5. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    That's what I was thinking, but in more precise terms. Are they actually going to design some models based on older designs? Are they going to change anything at all? Or is it just marketing?
     
  6. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    They might bring back some of the classic lines from that era. You might try their website to see if they have any pictures of their new concept cars.

    I know Mopar (Dodge,Plymouth, Chrysler) has been rumoured to bring back some of it's classic lines while at the same time revamping the (Dodge Charger) with todays more modernistic look.

    Ford has been doing some neat things with their cars as far as bringing back that "muscle car" look while mingling it with some of todays modern style.
     
  7. Shawn C

    Shawn C Screenwriter

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    Yeah. Weird commercial. Harley Earl shows up and you see all of his 'exciting' designs from the hey-days of Buick.

    Then, at the end of the commercial, you see the most bland and boring cars on the road today, designed by - BUICK!

    You might hate it now, but wait 'till you drive it!
     
  8. Mike__D

    Mike__D Supporting Actor

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    Marketing BS pisses me off. Yeah, he's gonna come back to design a great car, then they show their SUV with leather now standard... marketing folks must think most people are dumb. Wait a minute... most people are (none here of course [​IMG]) ...
    Mike D.
     
  9. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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  10. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    Eve:

    I understand what they were going for, and did from the beginning. I just think the commercials they actually produced fail miserably at doing that, and are just generally odd. I wish I could have been in the meeting where someone said, "I know. We'll show people that we're going back to the great days of Buick style by doing a series of commercials featuring the ghost of a dead guy nobody's ever heard of!" And other people nodded and said, "Yeah, great idea." I wonder what they were all smoking.

    Chrysler managed to convey the same notion in a series of their ads by simply showing "then and now" footage of engineers, designers, and cars, without all the supernatural hugger-mugger.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  11. Dave Falasco

    Dave Falasco Screenwriter

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    I thought the idea that Tiger Woods has a garage full of Buicks was hilarious. [​IMG]
     
  12. Eve T

    Eve T Supporting Actor

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    Ya..Chrysler rocks!
    Buick...well you know...doesn't. [​IMG]
     
  13. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    I knew who Harley Earl was, and he is responsible for some of the best looking cars GM ever built, from the early 30s thru the 50s, including the 55 Chevy, 49 Caddy, and the Corvette.

    He was also pretty much the inventor of the one-off "dream car" and his first effort was a Buick (called the "Y Job") back in the late 30s.
    Most of his best efforts on these were after WWII, and most of his best ones were Buicks. Some of these even made it into limited production, such as the 54 Buick Skylark seen in that Lexus RX-300 commercial where the guy takes the cover off the Skylark to protect his SUV wannabe from a rainstorm.

    Earle invented the tailfin, first seen on the 48 or 49 Caddy and inspired by the P-38 Lightning fighter plane.

    Chrysler hit paydirt with the nostalgic PT Cruiser and Prowler, Ford has the very well done new T-Bird which is a near replica of the classic 57.

    Buick in the 50s was often #4 in sales, right behind the "low priced 3" (Chevy,
    Ford, Plymouth) largely due to their styling which was often quite good, but sometimes horrible (ever seen a '58 Buick?)

    Anyway, the guy who greenlit the PT Cruiser for Chrysler is now running GM, so hopefully we will soon see some retro stuff from them which will live up to the Harley Earle tradition of styling panache, even if current Buicks don't.

    Buick may not have much of a performance image right now, but they do build some fast cars with that supercharged 3.8 V6, and we shouldn't forget the Grand National of the late 80s, a car artificially restricted to 110 mph because it would literally become airborne at it's real top speed of 140.

    The fastest production American car in 1954 was the Buick Century (albeit with the rare manual trans instead of the more common Dynaflow).

    So the Harley Earle commercials right now are sorta writing checks Buick can't cash, but hopefully this will change in the next few years.

    Chrysler has a history of bringing out wonderfully styled cars with horrendously bad quality control and reliability as they did in 57 with the Forward Look, again in the 70s with the Cordoba, and in the 90s with the Concorde/Intrepid, but so far the PT Cruisers seem to be doing very well. They are also going to be the first to bring back an affordable rear drive sedan, something long overdue.
     
  14. Kenny Foor

    Kenny Foor Stunt Coordinator

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  15. Ryan Spaight

    Ryan Spaight Supporting Actor

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    Well, they put portholes on the Park Avenue. [​IMG] If they think that qualifies as resurrecting the spirit of Harley Earl, then Buick is in very big trouble indeed.
    The commercials are very creepy -- the print ads are just depressing, with pictures of classic Buicks next to things like the grotesque Rendezvous and the bland-o-matic LeSabre.
    I hope the new regime at GM can turn things around -- if anyone can, Bob Lutz can.
    Ryan
     

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