Super Bowl 50 Car Commercials

If you aren’t a Denver Broncos or Carolina Panthers fan, then you’re probably a lot like me.  You watched the Super Bowl purely for the commercials because you didn’t give a crap about who actually won.  With so much pressure on advertisers to turn out great material, this year did not disappoint.  As usual, the car companies delivered quite a few entertaining spots during the best few hours of ad space for the year.

Numerous celebrities made appearances in this year’s car ads.  Hyundai knocked it out of the park with Ryan Reynolds.  Watching those girls cruise through Ryanville almost made me consider buying a Hyundai.  Kevin Hart’s performance as an overzealous dad relying on his Hyundai Genesis’ trusty Blue Link Car Finder app to protect his teenage daughter’s virtue was also genius, and has me hoping the Bavarians catch up with this tech by the time I have a teenage daughter roaming the streets.  Kia joined Hyundai in the celebrity endorsement ring, casting the always brilliant Christopher Walken as the “Walken Closet” who pushes a boring consumer to live a little in the all-new Optima.

Animals also got screen time this year.  Subaru tapped in to utter cuteness featuring two dogs out on a dinner date who become disgruntled when their Subi gets taken for a joyride by a clever feline.  And who could ignore a herd of sheep singing Queen?  Honda definitely came up with a creative and memorable way to showcase their new Ridgeline with stereo speakers in the truck bed.

Finally, auto makers turned to sentiment to drive home their messaging.  For the 2017 R8 V10, Audi featured a former space commander and his son in a tear-jerking storyline in which the commander gets to relive his youth at the helm of a rocket via a joyride in the R8 V10.  Automotive accessories company WeatherTech tugged at American heart strings by driving home an all-American made message.  And finally, Jeep took viewers on a journey spanning 75 years of the company’s history and reminded us all of its patriotic beginning.

I also found humor in the Toyota Prius “Heck on Wheels” and “The Longest Chase” ads.  Let’s be honest, a car chase in a Prius is highly unlikely, but the tongue and cheek way it’s portrayed in the ad is brilliant.  Toyota obviously knows their audience.  I also love the new #GoPriusGo.  Very clever.

For a look at all of this year’s Super Bowl car ads in one place, check out the link below to AutoWeek’s web page and read more about each ad.
http://autoweek.com/article/super-bowl-commercials/watch-best-car-commercials-super-bowl-50-here

 

Why Everyone Loves the SUV

2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT

2016 Jeep® Grand Cherokee SRT Photo Credit: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles

There is one type of vehicle I seem to see more frequently than any other on the road and that is the Sport Utility Vehicle.  Everywhere you go people are driving them.  Whether they are small, midsize or gigantic, consumers seem to be clamoring for this type of transportation.  So what makes the SUV such a desirable choice for consumers?

2016 CX-9

2016 Mazda CX-9 Interior Photo Credit: Mazda USA

The first reason that comes to mind is convenience.  Five doors, higher off the ground, and plenty of space all contribute to the convenience of driving a SUV.  These days even the more affordable models are packed with luxurious features including, but not limited to, leather seating, navigation, memory seats, heated seats, streaming bluetooth and music, and televisions neatly installed in the back of the front headrests.  Imagine being a kid now.  Those torturous road trips we suffered through in the 80’s and 90’s suddenly become quite bearable, if not fun in these new modern vehicles.

2016 Volve XC90

2016 Volvo XC90 Photo Credit: Volv0 Car Group

The second reason is versatility.  No matter what you’re looking for as a consumer, you can be assured at least one of the SUV models available will satisfy your needs.  Looking for something huge to transport your multiple kids and dogs?  Plenty of models come equipped with the sought after optional 3rd row, giving you choice as to how you would like your back seat and cargo area configured.  Is an environmentally responsible mode of transportation a must for you?  Several car companies make models with optional hybrid engines so you don’t have to feel as guilty about driving such a big, beasty car.

2016 Bentayga

Bentley Bentayga Photo Credit: Bentley Motors

The final obvious reason to own one of these is the cool factor.  Even if you have a ridiculously large family, you don’t have to sacrifice style and comfort to accommodate everyone.  You don’t even have to have a family to justify owning a SUV.  You can find purpose for your ride with rugged, outdoorsy activities or at least make it appear as if you enjoy that type of thing.  Once upon a time when I was in sales and had to schlep all over the greater Los Angeles area with sales materials and samples in my car, my SUV was my savior.  Yes it was bigger than it needed to be and got sub-par gas mileage, but it was so comfortable to drive, I didn’t mind stopping in to the gas station every two to three days.

With all this in mind, I will be dedicating the month of February on the blog to SUVs.  I will provide in-depth coverage of several different models and putting them to the test. Everything from the dream SUV (did someone say Bentley?!) to the more affordable models for those of us regular folk and everything in between.  Be sure to check back regularly for new posts, especially if you’re contemplating making the leap to SUV ownership.

Jeep Cherokee: “River in the City” Ad Campaign

Jeep 'River in the City' Ad Photo Credit: Chrysler Media Group

Jeep ‘River in the City’ Ad Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

Just after the New Year, on January 4th, Jeep launched a new commercial, “River in the City”.  In the :30 spot, Jeep turned an ordinary street block in Vancouver into a forest-like setting, complete with a mountain river, snowbanks, boulders, rocks, moss, trees and gravel.  They even had two wolves hanging out on set.

Drivers were then directed, via their navigations systems, through downtown Vancouver to the man-made mountain driving course.  They then took part in an unequaled Jeep Cherokee test drive.  They were given the opportunity to navigate the Cherokee through the rough terrain set-up and fully test the SUV’s capabilities in a unique urban setting.

“We wanted to bring to life the real world capabilities of the Jeep Cherokee in a unique approach,”said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer, FCA-Global. “So how do you do that?  By taking what is essentially an experiential event where unsuspecting drivers are being filmed navigating a busy metropolitan street that has been turned into a fully functional mountain river and let them experience the capabilities of the Jeep Cherokee for themselves.  Our ‘River in the City’ takes an untraditional approach to create a powerful statement that the Jeep Cherokee can handle anything a city throws at it.”

2015 Jeep Cherokee Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

2015 Jeep Cherokee Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

I find this new campaign by Jeep not only innovative, but a great example of thinking outside of the box.  We’ve all seen the obligatory shots of SUV’s off-roading, climbing mountains and tacking large boulders, but a huge percentage of SUV drivers never get to experience that type of driving.  In fact, the only adventure typically experienced by the everyday soccer parents that drive these vehicles is the thrill of successfully navigating the traffic laden roads in order to get their kids to respective sports practices on time and in one piece.  With this unique experience, Jeep gave everyday city dwellers the chance to experience what the vehicle can really do right in their own backyard, the downtown of a metropolitan city.  For that I applaud them.

2015 Jeep Cherokee Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

2015 Jeep Cherokee Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

Backing up Jeep’s innovative new campaign is a pretty kick ass ride.  I had the opportunity to test drive a Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk model and was quite impressed with what I found.  The ride felt more like a smooth sedan than a mid-size SUV.  It also had pretty good pick-up for a vehicle in its class.  I wasn’t too thrilled with the 9-speed transmission, however.  The Trailhawk ran through the gears way too quickly, which made the engine performance feel choppy.  I felt I wasn’t getting everything I could out of the engine.  I much prefer a 6 or 8 speed engine configuration to the 9.  I found the fuel economy to be impressive at close to 31 mpg on the highway.  The safety and security features, such as blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, and ParkSense rear park assist were also top-notch, as is the towing capacity of 4,500 lbs, quite a bit of weight for the mid-size SUV category.  Consumers also get the choice between two engine types, the new 3.2-liter Pentastar V-6, or the 2.4-liter MutliAir2, which earns a Partial Zero Emissions Engine classification in 14 states.

2015 Jeep Cherokee Interior Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

2015 Jeep Cherokee Interior Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

The interior is also very appealing, especially in the Trailhawk, which is focused on a rugged and sporty feel, everything a Jeep should be.  It features an 8.4-inch touch screen media display, seven-inch full color instrument display and plenty of storage and cargo flexibility not available in other vehicles in its class.

Overall the 2015 Jeep Cherokee is a great mid-size SUV option for those looking to buy in this segment.  It offers great features, plenty of options and several different models to choose from, ranging form affordable to slightly less affordable.  Even at its highest price-point, the Cherokee offers huge bang for the buck.  I highly recommend readers test drive it, if only to have some fun behind the wheel.  You won’t be disappointed.

To check out the new Jeep ad, visit http://www.jeep.com/cherokeedetour.

Jeep Cherokee 'River in the City' Ad Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media

Jeep Cherokee ‘River in the City’ Ad Photo Credit: Chrysler Group Media