By Don Klein
Award-winning ad man-cum-auto journalist Don Klein knows a good (or bad) car commercial when he sees one; the Ad Section is his space to tell you what he thinks of the latest spots. The ad’s rating is depicted via the shift pattern at the bottom, but everyone has an opinion when it comes to advertising, so hit Backfires below and tell us what you think, too.
Ads that simulate real-life situations are called “slice of life” commercials. We’re supposed to look at them and say, “Yeah I can relate to that,” or “That could be me they’re talking about.” They vary from vignettes that use exaggerated humor (like almost every breakfast-cereal commercial that depicts a family sitting around the kitchen table cracking jokes about cholesterol), to heartwarming masterpieces that evoke real tears, even though you know the situations are staged (like almost every Hallmark greeting card commercial). This spot for the new 2014 Kia Sorento falls somewhere in between. It won’t make you laugh or cry, but there’s a good chance it’ll make you smile because you really can identify with it.
We open on a family in a parking garage, looking for a spot for their Sorento. They finally come across one, but it’s awfully narrow. Dad wants to give it a try, but his wife makes it clear that he shouldn’t even think about it. And then comes the moment when most of us married guys start nodding our heads, because, boy, have we been there. Yes, the space is narrow, but I can do it! I just know I can! The daughters’ silent glance lets us know this isn’t the first time their parents have come to an impasse like this, and it probably doesn’t always end pretty. But this time Dad is a man with a plan. After all, their Sorento has the optional power folding mirrors that he’s been dying to use. Get out of the car so I can fold those puppies back and ease on in. Everyone humors him—and it works. Until he tries to open his door. Defeated? Not our boy. I’ll, um, just scurry out through the back. A little on-the-spot improvisation? Oh yeah. But his Kevin James–esque swagger and the way he tosses away his “Like a glove” line almost make us think maybe it actually was part of his plan, although he knows it wasn’t. The message? The 2014 Kia Sorento has power mirrors and a remote liftgate like more expensive SUVs, and, more important, it’s perfect for families like yours.
- Instrumented Test: First Drive: 2014 Kia Sorento
- Comparison Test: 2013 Escape vs. CR-V, Tucson, Sportage, CX-5, RAV4
- First Drive: 2014 Kia Forte Sedan
Recognizing I’m being completely subjective, I’ve got to say I like this commercial. One reason is because I think the actors look like a real family, not four mismatched souls from central casting. The little nuances are totally believable, too, …read more
Source: FULL ARTICLE at Car & Driver