Automotive ads used to be a work of art. They were clever and funny, yet still capable of getting the point across in just a handful of words. Best of all, they were often great to look at and worthy of framing to use as decoration. Thankfully, one of the greatest automotive accounts to spring up on Instagram lately is @MakeCarAdsGreatAgain, who you should definitely be following right now. The posts are a fantastic addition to any Instagram feed.
The person behind MakeCarAdsGreatAgain is an automotive marketing historian of sorts, curating and posting car ads from all over the world that he comes across or has sent in by followers. The ads posted can be as old as this Bugatti ad …
Or even ads as recent as this one for the BMW M4.
Scrolling through the feed you quickly see that the heyday for these advertisements was clearly during the golden age of print journalism. Marketers only had a split-second to grab your attention as you thumbed through a magazine, reading from article to article, so they’d often slam you with an attention grabbing headline that made some claim you couldn’t help but pay attention to, such as this one for the Toyota Cressida:
Or this one from Volvo:
It’s interesting to see how a brand’s perception of itself changes over time, as well. For example, Mercedes has a reputation today for building sports cars and sedans that are essentially European muscle cars with gobs of power, but that clearly wasn’t what they thought of themselves back in the 1960s. You can see that difference of perception with this Mercedes-Benz ad for the 300 SEL 6.3.
On the other side of the equation, Volvo seems to have stayed on the straight and narrow for quite some time, as they continue to stress that they make the safest cars on the road, just like in this ad.
MakeCarAdsGreatAgain isn’t just limited to print ads, he posts quite a few videos as well. Unfortunately, we can’t embed them in this article, but be sure to check them out on the Instagram page. The video ads are generally more recent as they’ve become a higher area of focus for the marketing departments of automakers — but some, like this Daewoo ad from Korea, are just pure 1980s goodness.
In conclusion, head on over to MakeCarAdsGreatAgain and give him a follow. You’ll be glad you did.