I’m not from Portland, but I’m trying to verify a tiny piece of local radio history. I hope somebody here knows something about this.
Around 1985 or 1986, a station aired a fake ad — not a humorous parody, but something that sounded genuine — for a new car called the StarFire 2000. The spot said that thanks to new technology, the StarFire 2000 actually got up to 2000 miles per gallon, and it would be available very soon.
Why would a station air a fake ad like this? They wanted to show the power of radio, and how something that was advertised only on the radio could generate interest. As you can imagine, negative reaction was immediate. The Oregon Attorney General had the spot pulled almost immediately.
Does anyone remember anything like this? I’ve been told this story, and am trying to verify it. Thanks.
True story, I remember airing those ads in the mid 80s. I believe the sponsors of the the ad hoped people would call car dealers asking about the Starfire 2000 showing the power of radio advertising. What they did not foresee was a dip in local auto sales as people were waiting for the Starfire to appear making car dealers less than happy.
Thanks for your quick response! Who was the “sponsor” of the ad? Here’s why I’m asking: Stuff like this happened in a few other cities. A bunch of local radio stations who were normally bitter competitors would air ads like this to demonstrate the power of radio advertising. In Portland, were several stations involved, or just one? If just one, which one? And is there any chance that a recording of the spot has survived?