Victory Auto Wreckers to replace its classic car-door-falling-off commercial
The iconic television commercial that made Victory Auto Wreckers a household name is slated to end its nearly 30-year run on Chicago airwaves later this year. Victory owner Kyle Weisner says a new commercial is in the works for his Bensenville business. The new ad is expected to debut in late spring or early summer.
"Our product has changed," Weisner said. "It's important that we get the message out that the product is different."
The Victory ad that's been airing since May 1985 shows a man getting a fanned-out bundle of cash for his battered car, just after the driver's door has fallen off in his hand. The commercial has been so effective that Victory never saw a need to replace it.
The difference now is that the automobile recycling facility at 710 E. Green St. is completing a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion. As part of the project, Victory's 9-acre lot has been paved over.
So Victory no longer has the dirt and mud that used to make searching for parts on the site a messy experience for customers. The classic commercial, however, still includes a shot of what the yard used to look like.
"It looks like it had just rained, and it's muddy as all heck out there," Weisner said. "Now it's paved. There is no more mud. The cars are in neat rows and are up on stands."
The 1985 commercial also has -- for understandable reasons -- outdated information. It tells viewers to call for a quote. Now Weisner wants customers to use Victory's website at victoryautowreckers.com.
"The whole purpose of advertising is to let the public know about a product that you're selling," Weisner said. "Our product has improved. We need to let people know."
Initially, Weisner wasn't planning to announce the new commercial because it's not yet finished.
But when Victory launched a commercial-making contest for fans, there was wide speculation that the winning contest entry would replace the classic commercial.
Weisner said that was never the plan.
As part of the contest, a top commercial will be picked once a week from Feb. 1 through March 28. Each weekly winner will receive $500.
Then a grand prize winner will be selected to make a brief run on television. But it will air only until the new commercial is ready.
The task of trying to top the commercial that made Victory famous has been given to professionals with Northbrook-based Xpress Video Productions. Weisner said part of the commercial already is done. Xpress is just waiting for warmer weather to get outdoor shots of Victory's improvements.
In the meantime, media attention this week for Victory's contest has prompted some to take to social media to urge the business to keep its 1985 commercial.
"If I had a nickel for every time someone told me to change the commercial in the last 30 years, I would have retired," Weisner said. "So I'm really surprised at how many people have come in favor of us not changing the commercial."
Still, he said, the change is necessary.
As for what's in the new commercial, Weisner isn't giving any spoilers. However, he said he believes people will be happy with it.
"It has some of the same elements," he said. "It's got a familiar feel to it."
Will a car door fall off at any point?
"You're going to have to wait and see," he said.