Tag Archives: dancing

Mitsubishi Car Dancing – Music Makes the Ad Series

In 2003 Mitsubishi Tokyo Drifted an ad that perfectly married the form and function music can lend to an commercial.  Set to band Dirty Vegas’s song “Days Go By” the ad for the 2003 Eclipse features the eye catching Pop and Lock dancing of the passenger.

The ad increased product awareness of the Mitsubishi brand in the USA over 10% and opened the door to a new target market – cool young adults. “Sure,” the ad seems to say, “you’ve got a job now, but you can still par-tay!” (yeah, that was super dorky of me.)

Two notes on this ad: 1. There is a guy in the back seat I didn’t notice on my first several views.

2Mitsubishi still
I keep thinking about that old Urban Legend with the guy in the back seat and the cars blinking their lights at you. Maybe the dancing isn’t the only thing killing it here!

2. Dave Chappelle did a fairly dirty parody of the ad. I’ll let you kids seek that out for yourselves, least Aunt Mary’s fine name be sullied. (But it is pretty funny)

As always, be sure to join me on the Ad Story Time Facebook page, or let me know about your favorite ads in the comments below!

Aunt Mary’s Least Favorite Ad

As an ardent lover of advertising, I truly respect the skill that goes into crafting a spot that reaches a target market and speaks to their sensibilities. I also understand that not every ad is meant for every audience. It’s simply impossible to create a commercial that will vibe with everyone. But every once in a while I look at a commercial and wonder what the hell they are trying to do.

This commercial for travel company Kayak.com ignited a burning hatred in me I really can’t compare to any other ad. Yes, even more than the Charmin Bears. I apologize for the low quality of the video, it’s certainly the best one I could find leading me to wonder if Kayak is scrubbing the internet of its presence.



Sam and Lisa West are champion dancers in a style called Shag (pause for giggling). Clearly they are wonderful dancers who have worked hard at perfecting their art.

That doesn’t stop me from hating this commercial.

As wonderful as they may be (and I’m sure they are generally delightful), I find them to be the least charismatic spokespeople I have seen. Not only do they seem uncomfortable having to act while dancing, I feel like they were handed some really crappy lines to begin with. The entire ad feels off and weird and all too precious.

Additionally, Spokespeople generally have a built in fan base and a wide appeal. These folks are truly obscure to the population in general, leaving viewer to wonder what is going on, who these people are and why should we listen to them.

The ad starts off with Sam enthusiastically proclaiming how he misses shiny floors (what?) He goes on to expound on the wonders of Kayak.com (sounds good) then he makes a hard turn to the camera, breaking the 4th wall, and yells “Tip Tap Time!” (Again, What?) Lisa instructs him to do the “Wet Dog Wiggle” (huh??) Then they shuffle up to the reception desk where Sam hits the bell with his foot, despite the hotel employee being right there (gross.) She doesn’t seem too impressed with them.


This is also such a departure from Kayak’s usual advertising of awkward people looking for travel accommodations in visually interesting ways.

Or is it?


Despite repeated watching of the ad, I’m still not sure why it has struck such a white-hot hatred in me. Maybe it’s because so many companies use amazing spokespeople to their advantage such as Eminem in that brilliant Chrysler “Imported from Detroit” ad. Maybe its because it seems to have sucked out all the joy and excitement that can come from a great trip. Maybe it’s because I feel if you are going to ask people to listen to your message, it better be on point; if you’re going to ask someone to represent your company, you better make them look great.

I don’t know, but I do know a crappy commercial when I see one.






Khakis Swing

In 1998 Gap managed to be on the vanguard of TWO emerging trends; the late 90’s swing dance fad and a hot new special effect that would soon be scrambling our brains in The Matrix. Featuring the “Bullet Time” effect, Gap managed to make a boring staple of casual Friday cool and aspirational.

Also, Louis Prima can make anything cooler. Anything.

If the goal of advertising is to “sell the sizzle, not the steak” then this ad delivers like Domino’s. You want to be here, with these people, dancing like that and if wearing Gap khakis will get you there then Sign.Me.Up.

Hey, I also wanted to share what the camera set-up looks like for the bullet time effect. Check this out:

bullet time cameras
Pretty slick there, 90’s camera dudes!

And finally, a pic of Aunt Mary on her day off