BL advertising - Dutch style.
Here’s a collection of various BL ads from 1976-84.
We start with a lively ad for the Allegro which was actually rather popular in the country in its early days. Indeed, in 1975, 8,200 were sold compared to 10,400 Minis. I’m grateful to BL Chronicles for the slogan translation - ‘Driving suddenly becomes fun again’. Incidentally, these Allegros were sourced from BL’s factory in Seneffe, Belgium as opposed to Longbridge.
From this we move onto a Marina 2 ad from 1976/7. It’s unusual to see the Marina in a foreign commercial as the car’s overseas popularity had fallen dramatically & it had been withdrawn from several foreign markets by this point. In reality, the Marina’s basic rear-wheel-drive set-up was increasingly been seen as out of step in Europe.
Next up might be a surprise for some as it’s an Innocenti Mini Bertone ad (from 1980) but the car was sold by BL in several European countries from the late 70s to the early 80s. You’ll notice there’s a link to the Mini as it had the same engine. BL would continue to sell the car in Europe until 1982 when Innocenti shifted to Daihatsu engines.
That decision might seem surprising as in 1981 the Metro had arrived in Europe. This ad was part of the European launch campaign & the Dutch ad here was used in other countries. As you can see, robots from figured heavily in the advertising though the campaign was distinctly different to the one used in the UK.
BL had high hopes for the Metro but as you’ll see in a future post it suffered from the poor reputation BL had earned from its previous cars. This was amply demonstrated in The Netherlands. In 1975, the firm sold 25k cars but this had fallen to 6.8k in 1981.
The Metro made little difference to BL’s sales & by the time of the Maestro’s arrival in 1984, sales had actually slightly fallen to 6.2k.
The Maestro ad is v different from the over-excitable UK launch ad though you notice the gimmicky digital dash & voice synthesizer make appearances.
The Maestro’s ad ends on a humorous note but you could say the dog’s reaction was possibly a commentary too on BL’s recent European sales performances.
But that’s another story...