Psychic advert copywriters?
“These fancy Eye-talian jobbies cost a fortune,” drawls the hickoid sheriff’s deputy in this TV advert for a 1970, or maybe it’s a 1971, Dodge Challenger. Forty years later, “Eye-talian” automaker Fiat owns Chrysler, and the Dodge Challenger costs a fortune, at least in 1970 dollars. How could the advertisement’s copywriters have known that Dodge would be a Fiat brand four decades later?
The subtext is the hickster marketing, directed at southerners and other yokels. At my old high school in Stockton, California, the Okies who hung out in the parking lot smoking Marlboro reds used to humor each other with their lame imitations of these Dodge advert cops, and it was a real headscratcher watching them crack each other up. So it’s apparent, at least in an empirical sense, that these ads were reaching their target audience. Of course, Darwinian natural selection thinned their ranks somewhat, from a Coors-fueled string of Mustangs, Camaros, Firebirds, Challengers and ‘Cudas totaled into trees, power poles, ditches, oncoming vehicles and other sundry road hazards.
Wonder if the Euro-weenies at Fiat will continue to go after the rube market with Dodge. —Jackson Griffith