Let’s get one thing clear right off the bat. “Nature Boy” Ric Flair is a national treasure. He’s also a human train wreck who lives on the knife-edge of self-parody, but even that is a gift. If Jay Gatsby had lived long enough to become your embarrassing uncle, he’d be Ric Flair.
I bring this up because Slick Ric plays the stereotype of a pushy, overexcited, cornball used-car salesman in three ads for US Auto Sales. And he’s pretty much perfect for the role.
The setup for all three ads is the same. Ric—excuse me, “Papa Flair”—yells “Wooooo!” a lot and puts customers in wrestling holds, then a voiceover cuts in to explain that US Auto Sales is a much more pleasant alternative.
Atlanta’s Nine Mile Circle produced all three ads, and the attention to detail helps the presentation a lot. Flair’s segments mimic low-budget ads for local car dealerships right down to the hazy picture quality and weird color palette, whereas the US Auto stuff looks clean and modern.
Of the three ads, “To Be the Man,” is the best one, because apparently Papa Flair is as antagonistic to his own sales team as he is to the customers. He’s also the kind of guy who tucks his suit pants into his cowboy boots.
Bless his probably cardiomyopathic heart.
Client: US Auto Sales
Marketing Director: Khalil Thompson
Production, Post: Nine Mile Circle, Atlanta
Creative Director, Editor, Visual Effects Artist: Les Umberger
Executive Producer: Amanda Oldeen
Colorist: Dave Pickett
Composer, Sound Designer, Audio Engineer: Kenneth Lovell