I love old car television ads. Whether it’s the jingle, like the late 1980s “Have you driven a Ford, lately?” that I can still hear clear as a freaking bell, to the strange and off-the-wall pieces that you might find towards the end of the 1960s that was supposed to appeal to the younger demographic, the advertisements tell you more than just about the car being sold. They are a snapshot into history. From cheesy effects and overdone production to the music and scenes used to set the stage for the car at hand, you can determine a lot about what was going on at the time. From youth-driven 1990s ads that catered to teens and twenty-somethings, to the tech-heavy 1980s, to the yacht-rock 1970s stuff and even further back if you look hard enough, all you have to do is pick your year, make and model and go hunting…you’ll figure out what was going on when your machine of choice was rolling off of the assembly line and into your local dealership’s lot.
For today’s review, we have a collection of television advertisements for the Chevrolet Camaro. It’s not like the car really needed an advertisement program, you would be forgiven for thinking that the car sold itself. But every now and then it doesn’t hurt to give the buying public a push, especially when the car is brand-new, such as the original advertisement from 1967, which was filled with volcanoes, fires, explosions…you half-expected Raquel Welch to climb into the driver’s seat wearing that infamous doe-skin bikini before the car drives off into the desert. The 1970 Camaro ad places all of the emphasis on the car itself and the driving experience, especially the upgraded handling characteristics over the prior generation. You’ll notice that the next model featured is the 1978 model…you can tell because of the one-year only run of the 1970-style dashboard with the rubber bumper treatments. We’re skipping the 1974-77 models, we guess, but note how much time for both 1978 and 1980 is spent talking about the luxury coupe offering, the Type LT for 1978 and the Berlinetta for 1980. By 1985, the hype is again about power with the IROC-Z models. And the outside scenery, from 1978 to 1985? Upscale, clean, positive, and cheerful. Notice: no notice whatsoever to Camaro’s actual fan base of gearheads, thrill junkies, hardcore racers or even the kids who dreamed about owning one.
At least the cars sold themselves, right? Take a trip down memory lane by checking out the video below!