This is not the typical ’60s car commercial: No brass bands, straw hats, or striped blazers. Oldsmobile took a decidedly low-key approach in this 1963 campaign, relying on understated black-and-white still photography and museum-guide narration to tell the story of the new Lansing flagship that season, the 98 Luxury Sedan.
Note also the posh setting: the Orpheus Fountain at the Cranbrook Institute of Art in the Detroit suburb of Bloomfield Hills. Motor City carmakers—Olds, Buick, Lincoln, Packard, and Hudson, to name a few—have often employed Cranbrook as a backdrop in their ad campaigns, especially when the themes include luxury and exclusivity, and the practice continues to this day.
Just one body style was offered for the 98 Luxury Sedan, also marketed as the LS: a six-window, four-door hardtop that shared its basic C-body shell with Cadillac and Buick Electra. At $4,300, the LS was solidly in the Buick price range, and with its long list of optional equipment and premium features, the new Olds was edging close to Cadillac territory as well. Sales were brisk at nearly 20,000 units, as fully loaded models in the near-luxury class continued to erode the exclusive market niche once enjoyed by the traditional luxury brands. Buyers discovered they could now obtain the same comfort and features in the lower-priced models, and this clip plays to that angle with its depictions of “the ultimate in limousine comfort” and “lush, deep-pile carpeting.” Video below.
Article courtesy of Mac's Motor City Garage.