Well there’s some alliteration for you…although strictly Penelope is merely a passenger in Peugeot’s new advert for their 208. Yes the French brand have again pulled out all the stops in a new campaign that screams for attention, the good kind!
The advert revolves around the concept of the Wacky Races cartoons, classic kids TV from the 1960’s which was still being shown on some channels during my childhood. In my quick Google of the series, I was astounded to find that only 17 episodes were produced! I guess the characters and scenarios each episode had were so iconic that they were able to become part of American culture quite quickly.
In the series, eleven elaborate race-cars compete in a race…the Creepy Coupe, Turbo Terrific, Compact Pussycat and of course the famous Mean Machine (driven by Dick Dastardly and his dog Mutley). Usually hi-jinks ensue…Dick setting booby-traps but never winning, Penelope Pitstop getting distracted and Peter Perfect trying to rescue her or the Gruesome Twosome messing about with a coffin. These images have become part of mine and so many other’s childhoods, and whilst spin off programmes followed, none captured kids’ imaginations more than the original series.
That is why it seems like genius for Peugeot to have captured the magic of the show in their new advert. Sure there are real-life actors as opposed to cartoons, but that adds to the excitement of recognising the different vehicles and characters. The 208 GTi being advertised is a nice car, and all of it’s features are quite handily demonstrated in the clip without the company having to resort to adding in gaffes like oil slick or extendable wheels…quite simply the car performs well as it will do for the vast majority of buyers.
Maybe Penelope driving off into the sunset with the owner of the car is a little saccharine, but it suits the film-like narrative of the ad. My main problem? The fact that it’s an advert aimed at the Brazilian market and therefore unlikely to be shown in the UK, where it would likely become something of a cult classic akin to the famous ‘Hindatsun 206’ advert from the early 00’s.
Please please please take a look at the 208 advert:
and for those who are interested here is the 206 one: