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This is only bad if your real goal is pushing the specific car. If you're more concerned with brand awareness, or being remembered as innovative or creative or doing something unexpected, this type of commercial can be very effective. I'll definitely remember that it's Mercedes. I'll bet a lot of people on HN remember the Darth Vader kid was in a VW commercial, even though they may not remember which car it was an ad for or what the car looked like. They probably know that the talking baby is in an eTrade commercial, even though they might not remember what he was talking about.

But I'll agree with you that it is really easy to waste your marketing dollars on these commercials if the message isn't somehow making the viewer remember the brand. The ones that just celebrate the creativity of the ad firm ARE terrible; I just don't think this was an example of that.

Similarly Honda's Cog advert is frequently given as an example of a an advert that did a great job of changing a company's public image.

I can't believe I've never seen that. Very, very cool.

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