Monday, July 25, 2011

Why I Love NASCAR: Commercials

A product of the Toyota sponsafier ad, Kyle Busch and crew chief
Jason Ratcliff sported fashionable pink firesuits.
Credit: Rusty Jarrett/Getty Images

As a rule, I don’t love commercials. I am more than thrilled when my husband DVRs a program for future viewing and, when we watch it, he fast forwards through them. Of course, like the rest of America (the world?) I tune in to the Super Bowl to see what brilliant creations the advertisers dreamt up, but the best ads appear during my favorite sport, NASCAR. NASCAR driver commercials are my hands down; no-holds barred favorite ones to watch. These are a few of my all-time favorites.

Napa. Back when Michael Waltrip and Dale Earnhardt Jr. were still driving for DEI they did a Napa ad in which Dale Jr. explains to the audience how Michael “taught me Napa auto parts are as good or better than the parts that came on your car” and Mikey replied, “and Dale taught me how to do this” to which Mikey put his cap on backwards and started doing different hand gestures in an effort to look cool. Dale Jr. simply stated, “I’m not taking credit for that!”

Subway. Back when Greg Biffle was sponsored by Subway they did a couple of commercials that struck my funny bone. The first had Greg Biffle explaining a victory to crew chief Doug Reichert while they were dining together at a Subway. As Greg’s story ended he sprayed his soda all over Doug to emphasize and reenact the excitement felt at the event. The second commercial had the two dining again and Greg using his sandwich halves to demonstrate how a driver he was racing got loose “and just lost it” to which he threw the sandwich half (the car) into Doug’s face. Doug looked at Greg incredulously prompting Greg to reply, “It’s okay, don’t worry, he walked away.” Those two ads made me laugh uproariously each time they aired… and still do when I seek them out on YouTube!

Lowes. An ad for Lowes’ Kobalt Tools line with the slogan, “Kobalt Tools, Tough to put down” found Jimmie going from one fix-it job to the next with his trusty Kobalt Tools at his side. He fixed everything from a stop sign to a broken down school bus, and, when welding a large clock pedestal on a city street his crew chief Chad Knaus pulls up and inquires with a hint of disgust, “What are you doing, Jimmie?” Jimmie responds, “Welding, Chad.” I laughed every time. It was this advertisement that allowed me to actually enjoy Jimmie’s persona.

Toyota. The Design Your Car for Toyota slogan brought forth some very enjoyable advertisements. The 2010 series of commercials brought “I love love” uttered brilliantly by David Reutimann; a classic line that will forever be repeated. The current ad with Denny Hamlin doing all of the domestic chores while in different stages of undress and played completely seriously is marvelous, too! This series keeps entertaining and I hope Toyota continues it for seasons to come.

Commercials can be annoying, intrusive, and stupid, but NASCAR seems to bring a consistently high level of entertainment and comedy to their advertisements. Although some can grate on my nerves, see the tarantula on the phone ad currently playing; others are like old friends I happily welcome into my home. As tastes in commercials, like music, are purely subjective, I’m curious to know how my picks stack up against yours. Did you agree with my favorites or did you feel I missed some of the best from the past or present? Here’s your forum. Let me know below. As for me, these commercials are yet another reason why I love NASCAR.



Chief 187 is a writer, columnist, and blogger as well as creator of the widely popular Chief 187 Chatter. Her column “Why I Love NASCAR” and other articles are featured on Skirts and Scuffs. She can be reached via Twitter by following @Chief187s. To find out more please visit http://Chief187.com.

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