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nhp
04-18-2005, 02:09 AM
Does anyone else find the Carl's Jr. commercials annoying? Some of them are just so stupid, I want to sock the guy who creates them. That new one with the baby threatening to 'take something with him' is disgusting. Yeah, I'm bored.

Gayle in MD
04-18-2005, 09:18 AM
I'm not familiar with that one, but I can tell you that I am sick of hearing about errections, or the lack of them, LOL. And the drug commercials in general are a joke, "May cause nausea, back pain, ulcers, stroke, dizziness" but atleast you won't be sneezing, LOL. Pharmaceutical industry is killing us and their profits are through the roof! /ccboard/images/graemlins/confused.gif

"Ask your Doctor," and if he has stock in the drug, you can get all you want!

PQQLK9
04-18-2005, 10:21 AM
I wish I could show a video clip of this guy ... Hilarious /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
web page (http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/charlotte/classifieds/automotive/11371524.htm)
http://www.duluthsuperior.com/images/charlotte/charlotte/11374/129368716676.jpg
In self-produced ads, Charlotte's "Rev. Rob" Christensen of Apple Auto Sales adopts the persona of a televangelist and promises to "heal your credit."





Posted on Tue, Apr. 12, 2005


Holy Shtick
Over the top ads work for car dealers
MIKE DRUMMOND
Staff Writer

When "Rev." Rob Christensen donned a platinum pompadour and rolled out his I-will-heeeal-your-credit car commercials in 1997, some local stations pulled the ads amid viewer protest.

The complaints didn't stop the ersatz televangelist of Apple Auto Sales from airing his low-budget (some might say low-brow) 30-second spots. "I've had people tell me they hate my ads -- hate them," Christensen says. "And yet they still bought a car from me."

Every city seems to have at least one car salesman who serves as his own TV pitchman. These home-grown commercials at times feature all the refined subtlety of a red honking nose. Lots of yelling. Three Stooges physical humor. Circus animals.

However, to dismiss Christensen and his ilk as mere clowns overlooks their promotional genius.

"They're fast-talking, in your face, animated figures," says Jeetendr Sehdev, an Oxford- and Harvard-educated corporate marketing consultant. "Car salesmen may make you cringe, but in doing so they evoke a strong emotional response and that's effective marketing."

Today's pitchmen compete against an array of 21st-century stimuli, including Internet blogs, 24-hour news channels, talk radio, satellite programming, direct mail bombardments and Little League .... Moreover, independent dealers lack multimillion-dollar ad budgets. Starring in their own productions is a relatively cheap entree to consumer living rooms.

Eight years after the first series of Rev. Rob ads appeared, Christensen recently filmed a new batch, just in time for the spring car-selling season. The ads still feature unpaid friend "actors" -- one man in old-lady drag -- thread-bare sets with plastic plants, and even a Benny Hill chase around his small Freedom Drive lot. The theme: Stick it to the man, where Rev. Rob beats an auto finance officer with a fake stick.

Christensen ran more conventional ads when he opened his lot in 1989, including one set to rap music. The Rev. Rob commercials proved a more forceful way to attract those with bad credit, he says.

"If you're willing to make light of a serious situation," he adds, "people are more likely to trust you."

Christensen, who hates suits and dresses in black jeans and matching T-shirts, says WSOC and WBTV booted his ads within the first two weeks eight years ago. "They had some problems with their vertebrae," he says, adding that his spots poke fun at the Ernest Ainsleys and other tele-healers of the world, not earnest church-goers.

Lee Armstrong, vice president and general manager at WSOC, says she couldn't confirm whether the station yanked the ads. Mary MacMillan, general manager at WBTV, says the spots predated her arrival, but adds the station probably would decline to run the ads, if approached.

Bob January, an account executive at WCCB-TV, Charlotte's Fox affiliate, said the station found no problem with the Rev. Rob ads, despite the daily complaints he had routed to his office. He says the last time someone complained about a Rev. Rob ad was a year ago.

Christensen, with his angular facial features and 6-foot-3 frame, vaguely resembles a younger Billy Graham. January, who calls Christensen a "very sharp cookie," says his client may enjoy courting controversy.

"Half the time I wonder if he's doing something to get business or to get a rise out of people," he says.

Few loathe Rev. Rob ads more than Jim Samson, owner of Samson Used Cars on Independence Boulevard. Samson is not above trotting out guys in giant chicken suits, live monkeys, or his dog, Spot, in his commercials -- the latter a homage to Cal Worthington, a Southern California legend whose "dog" Spot usually was a hippopotamus or some other exotic creature.

But Samson draws the line when it comes to Christensen, whose signature sign-off phrase "We're healin' " is a play on Samson's decades-old "We're dealin.' "

So deep is Samson's enmity, he declined to be interviewed in the same story in which Christensen appears.

Unlike competitors, Christensen doesn't feature cars in his commercials. He says he's selling a concept -- healing credit -- a notion he calls "timeless." He gets more mileage with this approach. Once a featured car is sold, he notes, the ad is obsolete.

The former zone manager for Ford Motor Co. spent $1,000 to make his first five spots in the late '90s, and $2,400 to make the latest round. He spends about $3,500 a month to run the ads that appear on cable and Fox throughout the day. He sells about 16 cars a month.

Those ads lured Montray Nivens, 26, to Apple last week. The first-time buyer lacked credit and financial means to buy an auto from a new-car dealer. Although he said the humor of the ads rated a mere 5 on a scale of 1-to-10, he got the message. "He sold me this car," said Nivens, idling in his pre-owned Altima.

Helmi Felfel, general manager at Donald Craig's Planet Suzuki on Northchase Road, spends upwards of $35,000 a month on his TV car ads. He films new spots about every week, and sells about 200 cars a month. Felfel's commercials for new and used cars have featured live tigers and him doing the splits, among other antics.

Felfel also is appearing in his own half-hour infomercial, a relative new wrinkle in the car ad genre. Cars roll behind him assembly line fashion. He rattles off features amid a buzz of theater, swirling lights and subplots, such as a chef preparing a meal during the broadcast.

Felfel says a mentor once told him he possesses something other dealers don't -- Helmi Felfel. So with gusto he appears in his own ads, screaming deals one day, dressing up as a Jamaican handing out foreign currency the next.

"If you're not living the passion" of car sales, he says, "you come off as not sincere and the customer can see right through that."

Ad Facts

Idea inspired from Ernest Ainsley, a televangelist who admonished his flock to touch televisions to receive the Holy Spirit.

Rob Christensen initially feared running the ads when he opened in 1989. With demise of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's PTL Club still fresh, he dreaded Bible Belt backlash.

Christensen and crew struggled with finding the right slap sound when Rev. Rob delivers a credit-healing smack. "Without the slap, the commercial is ruined," he notes. They settle on report of M-1 Carbine rifle lifted from a sound-effects CD-ROM.

Christensen made the "stick" used in new stick-it-to-the-man commercials out of a pool floatation tube. He roughed the surface with a grater, inserted a broom stick and painted the whole thing brown.

Filming of the eight new ads took all of one day.
Mike Drummond: (704) 358-5248; mdrummond@charlotteobserver.com

SpiderMan
04-18-2005, 12:30 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Gayle in MD:</font><hr> I'm not familiar with that one, but I can tell you that I am sick of hearing about errections, or the lack of them, LOL. <hr /></blockquote>

Women sure are hard to please! Got one? Don't want to hear about it! Lack one? Ditto! Should we just walk around in a permanent state of semi-turgidity? /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif

SpiderMan

Gayle in MD
04-22-2005, 05:34 AM
Gee Marty, /ccboard/images/graemlins/ooo.gif
Sorry to hear you're having so much trouble! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif

Gayle in Md.