Quaker State’s Connected Dipstick Has a Scrolling Newsfeed and a Selfie Camera

Onion Labs sends up ridiculous smart gadgets

"The Quaker State brand shares the customer belief that when it comes down to motor oil, you don't need fancy marketing—you just need good quality oil." Brand manager Gita Gidwani's statement may be true … but in advertising, a little humor never hurts.

On that note, Quaker State turned to Onion Labs, the satirical media outlet's in-house creative services division. The Labs developed a series of ads poking fun at marketing clichés like barely functional novelty products created to drive short-term sales.

Meet the Dipstick 6S. It's not just well lubricated, it gives you all the local weather forecasts you need to plan an off-road trip. And it can improve your selfie game by 36 percent (or some other completely arbitrary number).

Of course, Ads Making Fun of Ads has become its own genre, thanks mostly to Droga5 and one-off campaigns like McCann's Cinnamon Toast Crunch Selfie Spoon, because no one enjoys disparaging the inanity of advertising more than people who work in advertising.

This effort is less a direct critique of agency work than a take-off on infomercial-style shorts you might see while watching daytime talk shows or late-night USA Network reruns. 

Still, the point is clear: Quaker State doesn't have to descend to such desperate depths, because it can rely on the quality of its product to drive sales. As The Onion's chief creative officer Rick Haman puts it: "The truth about today's marketing is that most brands will go to ridiculous lengths to get consumers to buy their product."

On the other hand, a little extra exposure can never hurt—and we all know social media budgets are far more affordable than traditional television campaigns.

Six videos in this series will roll out through September on various digital platforms.