Electric Car Ads Spoof Mac Vs PC

Will clever marketing help Americans overcome sticker shock and the dreaded affliction known as “range anxiety” to embrace the new wave of electric vehicles about to roll out? The advocacy group Plug In America hopes so, producing seven 30-second spots it will release over the next several months.

The commercials — the first two of which are available now on the Plug In America website (and which you can also see below) — are takeoffs on the Mac vs. PC spots. In this case, it’s Electric vs. Gas. Guess who’s cooler.

Plug In America, Electric vs. Gas TV commercial

image via Plug In America

“The PSAs are designed to engage viewers through humor, then educate them about the benefits of plug-in vehicles,” actress and founding Plug In America board member Alexandra Paul (you might know her from “Baywatch“) said in a press release. The spots were produced through the volunteer efforts of Paul and her EV-crazy cohorts, including RAV4 EV-driving Marvin Campbell, who plays “Gas”; Tesla-driving Eric Swenson, the director; and former GM EV1-driver Jeff U’Ren, the editor.

Earlier this month, J.D. Power issued a report suggesting that despite all the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt-generated excitement about EVs, their high costs and worries about range and performance would limit their penetration in the U.S. market. Plug In America is trying to turn around perceptions by, it says, addressing “topics such as the true cost of gasoline, the endless maintenance of gas cars, the ease of plugging in to charge, oil spills and range anxiety.”

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Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.