StarFire 2000 Car Ad? Anybody remember?

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  stevewa 5 months, 2 weeks ago.

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  • #36754

    JGtheDJ
    Participant

    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.

    #36759

    Steve Naganuma
    Participant

    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.

    #36764

    JGtheDJ
    Participant

    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?

    #37990

    stevewa
    Participant

    I believe it was the Radio Advertising Bureau.

    IIRC they were sued by Tonkin Group because they had a promotion called “Target 2000” at the time and argued that the fake ad confused would-be customers.

    I also recall RAB being represented by a law firm that advertised on the radio frequently, and said firm was allegedly compensated for their efforts via trade-out…

    #37994

    stevewa
    Participant

    Oh and I’m pretty sure the name was “Stardrive 2000”

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