14 October 2011

Famous faces

A look into car commercials where celebrities front the campaigns.

THIS has been done for years where car brands approach a famous face. Pay or sponsor them a huge sum to feature in their advertising campaigns to help sell their cars. Definitely Motoring shows a few.

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo are renowned for making gorgeous cars. They had the glamorous Hollywood actress Uma Thurman fronting the campaign for the Giuletta. I personally believe it emphasises on what Alfas are  all about. Heart, soul, passion and style. Especially with the tagline, Without heart, we'd be mere machines.

British Leyland

If anything was to go by. There was more joy for those at British Leyland in making this advert than it was in the boardroom or the showrooms. With the troubles surrounding BL at the time, with the unions, the workforce on strike and the internal management in tatters.

But it didn't help that the cars BL made were generally a liability. To try and make up for the losses and mistakes. They tried to enlighten the mood with their advert. Starring The Two Ronnies with BL offering a generous double bonus offer on their range of cars.

Austin Rover

Today, Noel Edmonds will be best known for presenting Channel 4's Deal or no Deal. It wasn't too long before fronting Austin Rover's advertising campaign. He presented Top Gear in its early days.

The Austin Rover advert from 1985 is showcasing its range of models in its line up. With new updates to the MG Maestro. Also with the new 5-door Metro and Montego estate added to the range.

Fast forward to 1988/89. Not one but three celebrities on the advert. With Eric Idle from Monty Python as the dealer introducing F1 driver Nigel Mansell to the Rover 800. But he wants to try out the MG Metro and bumps into the legendary F1 commentator, Murray Walker in his MG Montego.


Citroën went all conventional in the 1990s. That was much to dismay with ardent Citroën fans. Building quirky cars like the 2CV and DS became a thing of the past.

The Xsara very much epitomises the era when Citroën made boring cars. Despite its plain-jane looks and looking like the Ford Escort. The Xsara was a fine car that lacked panache. They sold well thanks to the generous discounts and cash back deals Citroën offered at the time.

Like most 90s Citroëns, the Xsara is a forgettable car. Asides from its success in the World Rally Championship is where those will remember the Xsara. The commercial featuring supermodel, Claudia Schiffer is another one. Where she is stripping off as she walks to the car before setting off. With her adding some sex appeal to the car on the advert. Well that's what Citroën liked to think. You know what they say, that 'sex sells' in advertising.


Probably one of Ford's most famous adverts from the 1990s. Remember Steve McQueen from Bullit? With the iconic car chase with him behind the wheel of a Ford Mustang? Well, Ford have sort of made a re-make of that. With McQueen "driving" the Ford Puma.


Every now and then, Vauxhall have made commercials starring a famous face. The advert for the MK2 Cavalier has comedian and actor, Hugh Laurie behind the wheel. Nowadays best known for the hit American television series, House. Back then, Laurie was best known at the time, for doing comedy with Stephen Fry. With appearances in Fry and Laurie and Blackadder.

As far as I know, this commercial was from 1985 when Vauxhall gave the Cavalier a major update. To keep it fresh and competitive in the tough family fleet sector. It certainly did its job as the Cavalier outsold its arch-rival, the Ford Sierra.

The MK2 Cavalier was one of the cars that turned Vauxhall's fortunes round in the 1980s. It overtook Austin Rover as Britain's second manufacturer behind Ford. The gap between Vauxhall and the Blue Oval has been closing ever since.

In the 1990s, Vauxhall hired comdienne Ruby Wax to front the campaigns for the Corsa. Typically, with Ruby being a bit over the top on here boasting the car's features with the plush CDX model. Oh, and it had a chauffer driving her around in it. Then it ends with it saying the Corsa is a 'small car with a big personality'. You'll either find it amusing or irritating.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say and leave a reply...