Car commercials from the 1960s are delightfully cheesy by today’s standards. In a 1966 Ford Mustang ad, for example, a peppy narrator touts a “sporty steering wheel” and a “289 cubic inch Cobra V8” and then visually compares the car to a WWII bi-plane.
Comedian and car enthusiast Jerry Seinfeld wanted to capture the essence of these vintage television spots and apply it to 2014 Acura car models as ridiculously as possible.
He collaborated with Acura’s agency Mullen on a series of eight commercials that will bookend each episode of the upcoming third season of his series “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” premiering on Sony’s Crackle streaming service on Jan. 2.
Seinfeld doesn’t appear in any of the ads, but wrote the scripts and collaborated with the campaign’s director, Barry Sonnenfeld (“Men In Black”). Here’s one for the Acura MDX, with a corny Space Race theme:
Seinfeld spoke with the New York Times about the idea behind the campaign:
“To me, what was funny was a car from 2014 gets transported back to an ad agency in 1965 which is somewhat incompetent,” Mr. Seinfeld said. “The feeling that I’m trying to give the consumer is, ‘We don’t get you — we are so out of touch that we’re bragging that our cars are metal.”
Here’s one with a showcase that could fit into a game show. A guy ready for a “Mad Men” audition and a woman just there to look pretty flaunt mundane features of the RLX, like its ability to park pretty much anywhere, its automatic windows, and the option of three interior fabric colours:
Acura let Seinfeld mock their cars as long as the vehicles got good exposure.
“While we’re doing it in a tongue-in-cheek way, there are a lot of beauty shots of the interiors and exteriors,” Michael Accavitti, senior vp marketing at Acura’s parent company Honda, told the Times.
In “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee,” Seinfeld hangs out with a fellow comic (like Larry David or Sarah Silverman) while cruising around in a vintage car on the way to a coffee shop to chat. The episodes are 10-15 minutes long.
Seinfeld wanted the ads to organically fit into his series, and keep viewers entertained. “I feel like these just make my show better,” he said.
There are six other commercials on Acura’s YouTube channel.
And in case you wanted a point of reference, here’s that classic Mustang ad we mentioned earlier:
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