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New Dodge commercial takes inspiration from 'Talladega Nights', features new song by AC/DC

Dodge is celebrating its high-ranking J.D. Power survey results with a new commercial.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

There were so many classic lines. Chief among them is, "If you ain't first, you're last." Dodge is showcasing its historic top spot inn J.D. Power's Initial Quality Study with a new "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"-inspired commercial. The brand was also ranked first in the J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout Study.

The ad features actor Gary Cole as a younger Reese Bobby on a chase after his 10-year-old son Ricky Bobby. The 60-second spot is named "Family Motto" and set to the music of AC/DC's "Shot in the Dark", which is the first music released by the band in six years.

2020 Dodge commercial Talledega Nights Actor Gary Cole reprised his role for the commercial.Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"In our 60-second film, we needed to stay 100 percent true to the spirit of the original film, while simultaneously communicating the Dodge brand's record of 'firsts' as ranked by our owners," said Olivier Francois, Chief Marketing Officer. "Maintaining brand authenticity extended beyond Sony Pictures, including our music alliance with Columbia Records and AC/DC, in addition to Gary Cole reprising his role as Reese Bobby, and having the original movie's cinematographer, Oliver Wood, involved with this project. Together, we were able to accomplish this epic creative endeavor celebrating the Dodge brand's first-place wins, which could almost be envisioned as a deleted scene from the original movie."

Here's how the spot unfolds according to Dodge:

The spot opens circa 1981 in Talladega County with Reese Bobby, in a new 2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat, on a walkie talkie imploring his young son Ricky Bobby, who appears to be driving a 2021 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye and who yells, 'I wanna go fast,' to pull the vehicle over. During the chase, Ricky Bobby calls out to his best friend Cal Naughton Jr., who appears to pull up next to Ricky in a 2020 Dodge Challenger SRT Super Stock and who proudly proclaims, 'I had Mountain Dew for breakfast,' to help him outrun his father by using the infamous Shake 'n Bake maneuver (with a twist!), leaving his father proud and asking his son to remember the family motto, 'if you ain't first, you're last.'

Family Motto | Dodge www.youtube.com

"Dodge is honored to be the first domestic brand to rank No. 1 in not only the J.D. Power Initial Quality Study, but also the J.D. Power Consumer APEAL Study (mass market) in the same year," said Tim Kuniskis, Global Head of Alfa Romeo and Head of Passenger Cars – Dodge, SRT, Chrysler and FIAT, FCA – North America. "And Dodge is launching three 700-plus-horsepower muscle cars this year with the new Challenger SRT Super Stock, Durango SRT Hellcat and Charger SRT Hellcat Redeye, proving that we firmly believe our new 'Family Motto,' 'if you ain't first, you're last.'"

The spot is related to a larger Dodge marketing campaign. The Dodge Power Dollars 2020 incentive program, $10 cash allowance per horsepower on 2020 Dodge Challenger, Charger, and Durango models.

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"The Lady and The Dale" shows off the history of a three-wheeled car and an investment scheme gone awry.

Photo courtesy of HBO

Liz Carmichael claimed to be a lot of things. She said she was the widow of a NASA engineer, a farmer's daughter, and a mother of five. In reality, she was none of those things. The truth was a little less straightforward.

Carmichael was born in the late 1930s as Jerry Dean Michael, a male. By 1961 she would be wanted by police for alleged involvement in a counterfeiting operation. Carmichael fathered five children with Vivian Barrett Michael, who she would introduce as her secretary rather than spouse or partner. These exploits were just the beginning.

The Lady and the Day "The Lady and The Dale" will debut on January 31 on HBO.Photo courtesy of HBO

The Lady and the Dale

A new, four-part documentary series from Emmy-winning producers Mark and Jay Duplass ("Room 104") follows the story of Geraldine Elizabeth Carmichael, the founder of Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation. During the fuel crisis of the 1970s, Carmichael was living as a woman, taking the world by storm with the promotion of a fuel-efficient three-wheeled car named The Dale.

The Dale was designed and built by Dale Clifft. Before meeting Carmichael, Clifft had built the original vehicle from aluminum tubing and covered it in naugahyde. Carmichael came along and served as the vehicle's hype woman, using her promotional zeal to build up the vehicle's design and engineering and gaining investors putting more than 100 employees on the payroll.

Soon, the media took notice and began digging into The Dale and Carmichael. What resulted next is the story that is captured on film.

"The Lady and The Dale" mixes animation, archival footage, and interviews with Liz's family members and gender scholars, including Susan Stryker.

The series debuts with two back-to-back episodes on Sunday, January 31, at 9:00 p.m. ET with new subsequent Sundays at 9:00 p.m. ET. The Lady and The Dale will premiere on HBO and be available to stream on HBO Max. Watch the trailer below.

The Lady and the Dale: Official Trailer | HBO www.youtube.com

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Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 delivers new safety and driver assistance tech to the company's 2021 model lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made public a list of proposed upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NCAP testing addresses the crashworthiness of a vehicle as well as the vehicle's headlight functionality. These new proposed measures go even further, putting driver assistance and safety technology to the test.

Automakers often strive to achieve the highest score possible in NCAP testing, wearing their five-start safety ratings and Top Pick designations as badges of honor in marketing campaigns.

"Thanks in part to NCAP, new vehicles today are much safer than a generation ago," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. "Even so, there are still too many fatalities and serious injuries in crashes every year, so it is critical that vehicles keep getting safer in the future, and a modernized NCAP will better enable American families to select vehicles with the safety features they want."

The immediate planned update to NCAP testing includes four advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS): lane keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and blind spot intervention. Engineers have designed these four specific technologies to mitigate high-frequency and high-risk crash types.

NHTSA is currently seeking public input on how best to develop a rating system for ADAS technologies.

"These upgrades will make NCAP more dynamic," Deputy Administrator Owens said. "American car buyers want safety, and NHTSA wants to empower them with comparative safety information about vehicles in the market. This information creates powerful market-based incentives for automakers to invest in advanced safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries."

The NHTSA began testing vehicles in 1978. The first tests examined frontal impact protection and used data from crash test dummies. The five-star safety rating system was established in 1993 and have been steadily increasing the scope of the testing over the last two decades.

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