biting the hand

In presenting ad ideas, most agencies probably figure it’s a good idea not to deride the client’s industry.
The Ungar Group’s creative presentation to a local auto dealer wasn’t quite so tactful. The Chicago agency’s TV spots make a blunt point: Car dealers have a sleazy reputation, which over the years has been evident in their advertising.
One 30-second spot that broke this month in Chicago asks, via voiceover, “How did you feel after you bought your last car?” The visual is a closeup of a screw being turned tightly into a board. Another spot shows a series of Illinois vanity license plates being tossed into a pile: “Sukker,” reads one; “VicDum,” another.
Of course, Ungar’s client, Rogers Pontiac in Chicago, comes out clean in both cases, with the “Vanity Plate” spot ending with a “Suprhero” plate for Rogers.
Still, it was a tough sell, admits Tom Ungar, creative director at the shop. The dealership owner is “very nervous,” Ungar said, “but in order to stand out he knows he has to break away from all the formula ads.”
–Trevor Jense

Publish date: January 31, 2000 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT