Analyzing a Suburban Auto Group Commercial

I went on the hunt for an ad to do this week’s article on, and since my normal sources weren’t showing me anything I was interested in, I would do what anyone who lives in today’s world of technological advances, and I searched for the greatest commercials of all time. I came across some very entertaining ads, but some of them I’m not sure I would label as great advertising. It makes you question what is that makes an ad great? Should it be if the product is accurately displayed and promoted? How about if it’s really entertaining and people share it over and over again? Perhaps it should be all about really making people want to buy your products? I think that a good ad should have a mix of all three. The commercial I found does one of these really well, and one of the others somewhat, even though it is only because of inaccurate information about the product. Let me know what you think of this ad down below, and I’ll give you my opinion as well.

As always we want to look at what they did that was good in the commercial to learn to apply to our own ads, and some of the things that they did badly that we should do our best to avoid. Let’s start on a positive note and look at what they did well. The first thing I noticed is that this is an entertaining ad. The guys reaction to the screaming guy outside of his car is funny, especially when he tries to to cover the guys face up with a napkin, thinking that would make him go away? Has anyone else ever tried this, and if so, has it ever worked? Then when the monkey is released from the trunk and knocks the guy out, I burst out laughing. I feel that this ad has good comedic timing, and an original concept for how to deal with problems.

The name of the product that they are trying to sell is mentioned/on the screen twice in the ad, and one of them is immediately after the funniest part of the ad. These group of ads was introduced in 2000, shortly after TiVo was introduced. It isn’t too likely that many people had TiVo at this point, but those that did may have watched this ad over and over again, getting repeated exposure to the brand name. Research has shown that in order for top of mind recollection to occur, we need to be exposed to something at least three times. If you watch this ad twice, or rewind the part with the monkey getting out of the trunk over and over again, you are likely to remember the Suburban Auto Group. Is remembering the name of the product enough though? Did they do anything with their ad that would make me want to actually buy their product?

The answer is yes. They are suggesting, quite inaccurately of course, that if you become a part of this auto group you will get a monkey to hang out in your trunk that will pop out and help you when you get into a tight situation. Not only that, but the monkey was wearing pants! How much better can you get than having a monkey in pants that comes to your rescue when you get into trouble? Where can I sign up for this auto group? The only major downside is that you obviously don’t get a trunk monkey if you sign up for the auto group. Talk about a let down. I wonder how many people called in to try and get a monkey and ended up ignoring the company completely when they found out they don’t get one.

I don’t know if this is necessarily a plus, but they accurately portrayed road rage in this ad, which some people probably had when they found out they weren’t getting a monkey. Making your ad believable can help people to associate your  products as being a solution for their everyday problems. I think this ad somewhat shoots themselves in the foot with the trunk monkey being their solution, but on the other hand, but considering this ad was released for the super bowl in either 2003 or 2004, and I still remember it, they did a good job of making their ad memorable.

Now let’s talk about a few things that they did poorly that I think ultimately makes this a bad ad. After watching this ad, I have no real idea what the actual benefits of being a part of the Suburban Auto Group actually are. Do they come out and deal with angry drivers for you? Or as seen in other trunk monkey ads, do they deal with car thieves, or provide chaperons for my daughters dates? Perhaps they will negotiate with authorities on my behalf to get me out of traffic tickets? I honestly don’t know anything about this group after watching these commercials. Perhaps I have a problem that their product is the perfect solution for, but because they failed to communicate that, I may end up going with a competitor who told me what they do.

I think that this ad has a lot of great elements in it, it’s entertaining, they have a monkey wearing pants in it, they mention their name enough that it will help consumers recall their brand, but it is really missing that call to action that would help to make people actually want to buy their product. You might say that people would go and want to look this company up to see if the trunk monkey was an actual thing, or what they offer, but I’m remembering 2003 and 2004 as years where my internet was super slow, so I wasn’t looking up anything unimportant. Maybe you had a different experience growing up than I did, and you did look the company up. This is all based off of my opinion, and in my opinion they did a great job of making a bad ad. If you disagree with me, or agree with me and noticed something about this ad that I missed, or if you have an ad that you want me to do my next article on, leave it all down in the comment section below. Have a great week everyone.


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