Aaron DiManna
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Reimagining Viral Videos as Car Commercials

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2022 GMC Terrain SLT
Ah, the great, Terrain…
Photo: GMC

A few months ago, I wrote a page about why the maniacal genius behind the internet sensation “Pen Pineapple Apple Pen” should be the frontman in every car commercial. Since then, I’ve had plenty of time to contemplate my grand designs for the automotive industry, and I think there are a few other viral videos that could be translated into ads. Here are two of my favorites.

Inspired by your quest for excellence: The 2021 GMC Terrain

“Ah, the French” — Orson Welles

Between his legendary radio adaptation of “War of the Worlds” and his magnum opus “Citizen Kane,” Orson Welles is widely regarded as one of the greatest minds of his time. Unfortunately, not everything was quite so rosy for him a few years down the line. After his film career dried up a bit, he was asked to appear in commercials for Paul Masson champagne. The result leaves little doubt that he enjoyed a few too many samples before appearing on set.

But it’s also one of the most strangely delightful videos out there. With a little bit of work, it could be a great ad for an SUV like the refreshed 2022 GMC Terrain.

“Ah, the great, Terrain, has always been celebrated for its spaciousness. It is a newer-model Terrain by GMC, inspired by your quest for excellence. They build it in America, and like the best Terrains, it’s five-star rated.”

If Mr. Welles had lived long enough to slur his way through that commercial, I might be driving a GMC Terrain today. Ah, to think of what might have been.

“The 7th Element” — Vitas

“The 7th Element” is far and away one of the most bizarre music videos on the internet. Performed by Russian musician Vitas in 2001, it features a man in a silver jumpsuit wearing a frilled turtleneck and a sequined headpiece dancing on what appears to be either a backlit Twister mat or an incredibly elaborate DDR pad.

Of course, it really shines in its lyrics, which are a mix of Russian, tongue-rolling, and assorted mouth sounds. Thankfully, its unintelligible nature makes it an ideal candidate to promote just about any vehicle you can think of. Watch the video above and tell me this doesn’t line up surprisingly well.

  • “It’s a car, it’s a car, it’s a ca-a-a-ar. Brlrlrlrl, real good car!”

Maybe you want to be a little more focused and try to raise awareness about the recently-revealed 2024 Hummer EV SUV.

  • “It goes far, it goes far, it goes fa-a-a-ar. Brlrlrlrl, just one charge!”

Are trucks like the Sierra more your speed?

  • “It goes hard, it goes hard, it goes ha-a-a-ard. Brlrlrlrl, raise the bar!”

I’ll be waiting for my check in the mail.

Brlrlrlrl, raise the bar!: With certified service