The Agonizing Beauty of Local Auto Dealership Advertising

Presidents’ Day is about way more than our founding fathers.

Presidents Day Sales
Bruce Ayres/Getty Images

This Monday is Presidents’ Day. Or, depending on which state you live in, it will be Presidents’ Day or Washington’s Birthday or Lincoln’s Birthday or Washington and Lincoln’s Birthday. The many-named holiday occurs on the third Monday of February, and thus only rarely falls on the actual day babies George or Honest Abe fell in a pool of effluvia from his mother. Still, a holiday’s roots aren’t what holidays are about in America. At this juncture, Presidents’ Day is all about car sales. Blowouts. Everything Must Go. Bad Credit, No Credit, No Problem. So Cheap It Must Be Illegal.

For reasons earlier explained, every car dealership in this country holds a Presidents’ Day sale—usually with a full-court marketing press. Hot-dogs on the show floor; a terrifying, gyrating pneumatic monsters; extra large flags. But nothing beats the commercials.

You know the type, like a mattress shop or local pawn: all the manic intensity of a Michael Bay blockbuster with the budget of a elementary school Thanksgiving play. It’s magic.

In order to prepare you for this Presidents’ Day onslaught, we’ve gathered some of our favorite local-access dealership ads. You might need the fortitude of a commander-in-chief to get through ‘em.