Remember Oldsmobile? GM killed off the division in 2004. By that time, most Oldsmobile cars were just badge-engineered versions of their Chevrolet, Pontiac and Buick siblings.
Today we’ll look at three ads (and websites) promoting some of the more forgettable modern Oldsmobiles.
Starting with the letter A, we have this ad for the Oldsmobile Alero:
It’s cute how the car is on its side, as if it’s gripping the road so tightly it can drive on the wall, I guess?
A friend of mine had one of these back in the day and I don’t think I would ever try to attempt such a stunt in her Alero.
No, by all measures, the Alero was just a slightly nicer Pontiac Grand Am (which isn’t saying much).
To promote the car, Oldsmobile shelled out the bucks to own Alero.com:
I hadn’t noticed it before today, but the license plate on the sideways car also references Alero.com. Nice touch.
What about the site itself?
Ouch. That’s not good.
The site is completely dead. But whois.com shows that GM still owns Alero.com. I was talking to my husband about these dead sites this morning and one thing we theorized is that, for a company like GM, not only do the no longer make Oldsmobiles or Aleros, Alero.com isn’t part of their brand identity, so maybe they don’t want the site to exist for the sake of avoiding brand dilution?
Or maybe someone at GM is just being lazy?
Let’s move on to the letter B, which is arguably the most interesting of the three ads today.
That, my friends, is a first-generation Oldsmobile Bravada. Eager to jump on the growing SUV craze, Oldsmobile gave us this rebadged GMC Jimmy/Chevrolet S-10 Blazer thing.
Tucked into the bottom right-hand corner of the ad is this URL:
BravadaSUV.com seems straight-forward enough, I suppose. It gets the point across. Was simply Bravada.com not available? Who knows – these days it links to some media site.
Anyway, what’s important here is that, today, BravadaSUV.com gives us this:
But what is unusual is that nobody currently owns BravadaSUV.com. GM apparently let their license to the site expire some time ago. So if there’s some enterprising Bavada fan out there (and, legitimately, the second generation was a decent SUV as I understand it), they could own a piece of Oldsmobile history here. Just sayin’!
Finally, we get to the letter C, which stands for Cutlass:
Like the Bravada ad above, this one is also from a June 1997 magazine. But in this case, it’s the Cutlass that is being touted as reinventing everything.
Now, I understand puffery, but one could make the argument that Oldsmobile is flat-out lying here. No, they did not invent keyless entry, or the V-6 engine or leather seating or the CD player. Sorry, but this just looks like a company that is desperately trying to make their boring car seem interesting.
Fine. Let’s turn our attention to the itty-bitty-teeny-tiny text in the lower left-hand corner, where we see this nugget:
Ooof, that’s some small print.
But it won’t stop us from checking www.Cutlass.com today:
Yeah, that’s not surprising given the lack of attention to these old Olds sites that we’ve seen earlier in this post. And, again, it’s made all the more disappointing by the fact that GM still owns www.Cutlass.com, so why not do something useful with it?
If we were handing out grades here, I’d give GM a big F.