Not so clever

Every so often you hit upon an advert so lack-lustre, so pathetic, it undermines the product:

Not so clever

Yes: there’s a fair example.

The Škoda Superb is, by all accounts and reviews, a very creditable piece of work. It deserved better than this mash-up.

For the advert, as presented here, is confused, confusing, disturbed and disturbing.


The location is somewhere between Mitteleuropa and Mid-Atlantic. The background is deliberately featureless, and could be anywhere between the more mundane bits of Canary Wharf or anywhere else not quite “prime”. Clean, uninhabited, featureless, unmemorable. Which is fair enough, because we are meant to focus on the car, not its context (unlike those other mobile dream-works which need to feed off the Ritz or the Palais Garnier).

Now we have that spindly sign-post. We are obviously very lost, five miles or kilometres off the “Highway”. One way we can head for the “Harbour” (British, not American spelling), another to the “Theater” (American, not British spelling). Then, again, we have the option of “Centier” (presumably, now in the American mid-West, looking for a bank).

Then the most unnerving item is the vehicle itself. Those spinning wheels suggest we are travelling at some speed, possibly on pavé. We appears to be on the right-hand of the carriageway, which suggests also somewhere not British. No problem! Except, where is the driver? The driver’s mirror seems to suggest he or she should be sitting to the left — but not driver, No steering wheel. A totally automatic, human-free conveyance.

Nope. Doesn’t work for me.



Filed under advertising.

2 responses to “Not so clever

  1. Peter Townroe

    Oh dear Malcolm. Methinks you are getting ‘Grumpy Old Mannish’, looking for literal accuracy in an advert that is clearly intend to convey feeling and emotion. If you want the detail, buy ‘What Car?’ Think Marshall McLuan!

    PS But keep your ‘Home Service’ broadcasting. I enjoy it.

  2. Since it is deliberate its likely everything but the car is meant to be anonymous and that is understandable so many of us prefer anonymity.

    I doubt it will win any awards at the annual bash but one thing is certain the car stands out…..

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