Jetson? or Flintstone?

August 15, 2018

An EV is the closest most of us will come to a jet pack.

Video Description – Plug into the Present:

When you’re behind the wheel, are you a Jetson or a Flintstone? Check out this cool commercial to learn why electric cars aren’t just a thing of the future — EVs are here today. They’re fast, quiet and fun to drive! Say goodbye to the Stone Age. Switch to an electric vehicle today!

Creativity Online:

The Jetsons and Flintstones are getting back together again–or at least their theme songs are. The soundtracks of the two classic Hanna-Barbera cartoons are featured in a new ad seeking to raise awareness of electric vehicles.

The spot, by Deutsch, is part of the first national campaign by Electrify America, a wholly owned subsidiary of Volkswagen Group of America. The group, created in 2016, is overseeing a 10-year, $2 billion investment on zero emissions vehicle technology and awareness. The investment was mandated as part of the automaker’s legal settlement with government regulators in the wake of VW’s diesel scandal in which it admitted to installing devices on cars to cheat on emissions tests.

The terms of the agreement call for brand-neutral public outreach and education for zero-emissions vehicles, which today only represent a tiny fraction of the U.S. automotive market. So-called ZEV’s include battery-electric and hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles.

The first ad portrays an environmentally conscious man driving a gas-powered car. Cue the Flintstones music, which suggests he is behind the times. Then, as the Jetsons song comes on, his alter ego pulls up in an electric car, prompting jealousy from his backwards-thinking self. The spot ends by showing a range of currently available electric cars speeding down the highway.

Hanna-Barbera aficionados will remember the two cartoon families uniting back in 1987 in a made-for-TV movie.

Guto Araki, executive creative director at Deutsch, says the cartoon crossover was not the inspiration for the ad. In fact, Araki, who was born in 1981, doesn’t even remember it. Rather, the agency juxtaposed the cartoons set in the stone-age and future as a way to subtly suggest that if you are not driving an electric car, you are living in the past. Or as Araki says, “Get with the times, pal.”

“If you look at electric car commercials they are so heavy-handed and make you guilty about the environment or choices you make or make you feel uncool,” he says. “We like this because it is very personable and lighthearted.”

Which is kind of the point I was trying to make in this Yale Climate Connections video a few years ago.

Ultimately, we all want to save the Polar Bears, (well, most of us) – but what makes people want electric cars is that they are fast, smart, fun, and sexy.


  • Electrify America, a subsidiary of Volkswagen (VW), is launching a national radio, TV and web advertising campaign to educate consumers about the availability of electric vehicles (EVs) and related infrastructure.
  • The “JetStones” campaign, which uses the themes for the classic cartoons “The Flintstones” and “The Jetsons,” was developed with the creative agency Deutsch and will run nationally through June of 2019. The ad is brand-neutral and the “Plug into the Present” website associated with the campaign allows consumers to compare models across different EV brands.
  • “The JetStones campaign is just the beginning of our work to educate and demonstrate that electric vehicles offer a full array of features that customers expect, and they are totally fun to drive,” said Richard Steinberg of Electrify America in a statement.

Electrify America, which is funded with $2 billion from the settlement over VW’s emissions cheating scandal, plans to spend $45 million over ten years on public education and engagement. The spot specifically notes use of a charging station, part of the campaign’s effort to show that charging infrastructure is available in cities now and that EVs can be used readily.

As more automakers are introducing EV models, cities, states and businesses are investing heavily to promote them. Northeast states partnered with automakers for an advertising campaign announced at the New York International Auto Show in March to promote electric vehicles, meant to promote how easy the vehicles are to use. In July, cities and businesses aligned under The Climate Group and C40 Cities to make pledges to speed up adoption of EVs and raise public awareness. Because the cars still have an up-front cost and make up a tiny portion of auto sales, consumer acceptance is still a major barrier to widespread adoption, and the environmental benefits that would follow.

Electrify America has also pledged to invest $800 million in California over a decade, kicked off with $44 million on several EV-related projects in Sacramento. By focusing investments on charging stations, electric buses and a fleet of shared electric vehicles, the program is meant to target initiatives that will make consumers more familiar with electric vehicles and make them easier to use in major cities.

8 Responses to “Jetson? or Flintstone?”

  1. grindupbaker Says:

    20 years ago when I was 52 there was a 68-year-old Scot with our group who stared longingly at Harley-Davidsons and said “I’m treating myself to one when I get too old to bicycle”. He’s probably envying EVs now he’s 88.

  2. stevedj98 Says:

    I’m 71 years old and the first time I saw this, I had no idea what the spot was trying to tell me. Thanks for the explanation! I wonder how many millennials or Generation Xers have any idea of The Flintstones vs The Jetsons, and what the ad is trying to say.

    Makes you wonder what the focus groups said when showed this to them.

    By the way, I’ve owned a 2011 Nissan Leaf and a 2013 Chevy Volt. Loved them both.

  3. Andy Lee Robinson Says:

    I’m 55 and made a 1.5kW ebike with a 3kWh battery giving around 100 mile range.
    It’s perfect for commuting to meetings, doing the weekly shopping, riding mountain trails or visiting friends. It’s silent and fast and costs practically nothing to run, especially when charged with portable solar panels.
    Now I feel like teenager again but with superhuman strength, and I love it!
    I also scrapped my cars as I now had no need for them.
    Ebikes have a bright future and much more should be done to encourage them in spite of FF industry resistance.

  4. redskylite Says:

    It’s a good ad, maybe needs airing down south in New Zealand as according to the A.A (Automobile Association – not the other AA) all top 15 are fossil fueled headed by the Ford Ranger. Interestingly enough I see class actions on the Ford as they have had quite a few catch fire.

    With the state of international politics, OPEC and regional fuel taxes, E.V’s are beginning to catch on here though, saw the first being charged up at my local mall today and even a few futuristic Teslas zooming around.

    Top 15 NZ new vehicles year to date:

    1. Ford Ranger – 5170
    2. Toyota Hilux – 3934
    3. Holden Colorado – 2442
    4. Toyota Corolla – 2326
    5. Mitsubishi Triton – 2268
    6. Nissan Navara – 2073
    7. Toyota Rav4 – 2068
    8. Mazda CX5 – 1902
    9. Kia Sportage – 1630
    10. Suzuki Swift – 1566
    11. Toyota Higlander – 1386
    12. Isuzu D-Max – 1296
    13. Mitsubishi Outlander – 1177
    14. Holden Captiva – 1151
    15. Toyota Hiace – 1126

    New Electric Vehicle (EV) registrations continue to soar to new heights, climbing 112% from this time last year to 371 registrations– the main contributor being the Hyundai Ioniq. This now brings New Zealand’s EV fleet to a total of 8696 vehicles, already hitting the governments’ end of year target of 8000. With the new regional fuel tax making its mark, we’re sure to see continued growth of low-emission vehicles.

  5. redskylite Says:

    Teslas beginning to sell in Russia. Air the Jetstoneski version of the ad.

    Of the new orders, a little over 40% were for the Model S and 26% were for the Model X, with some demand for the 3 and the Roadster as well. It may take as much as four months for the ordered vehicles to reach the Russian buyers. They will reportedly be shipped from the US to the Netherlands for some adjustments before traveling on to Russia.

  6. redskylite Says:

    5th Avenue will never be the same again. .

    Workhorse spent months getting ready to bring its W-15 electric pickup truck and SureFly hybrid electric personal aircraft to New York City on August 13. It chose the popular space in front of the iconic Flat Iron Building at the intersection of Fifth Avenue, Broadway, and West 23rd street in midtown Manhattan for the reveal. Ideally, Manhattanites would come out in droves to learn about these innovative vehicles that are poised to reshape the future of transportation.

  7. rhymeswithgoalie Says:

    “[W]hat makes people want electric cars is that they are fast, smart, fun, and sexy.”

    I like to reel off “no tailpipe, no muffler, no catalytic converter, no air filters, no oil filters, no oil changes, no alternator, no radiator, no gas tank, no grille.”

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