Elf hits ‘Born From Jets’ ads…

As mentioned yesterday, Saab are sponsoring the Tour de France coverage on one of the cable TV stations in the US.

Forum owner, ChefElf, has found himself distressed at the BFJ ads being shown – the fact that they haven’t changed since last year’s ads and the fact that he doesn’t really know what they mean.

Here’s a snippet:

In this ad you show a car racing through the desert (pretty standard) and above it is a perfect V-formation of jets flying about 60 feet off the ground (that’s normal, right?) just above the car. I don’t know much about jets but I’d have to guess that the car and the jets are all traveling just around 600 miles per hour.

Hmmm, they didn’t get out of third gear, then…..

Then they display their ridiculous rampant griffin logo and the commercial ends.

REDICULOUS?!?! En garde!

Here’s his full open letter to Saab about BFJ but his main questions of relevance are here:

Are you trying to impress us that Saab was founded by people who used to make jets? Were they good at making jets? If so, why did they stop? Why make cars? Isn’t it kind of like advertising a made for TV movie on Lifetime starring Harrison Ford and bragging about how he used to be in real movies?

As I couldn’t be bothered registering at his forum for only 1 post, I thought I’d answer his questions here.

Are you (i.e. Saab) trying to impress us that Saab was founded by people who used to make jets?

I think they (i.e. Saab) are indeed trying to impress you. Jets are cool and take a lot of work to design and build. The guys who drive them all look cool, wear sunglasses and do wierd high-fives whilst playing beach volleyball. The theory is that if you can build a jet then designing and building a car should be a piece of cake. Which it is, in comparison. The margins for error are a lot finer in a jet as there’s a much higher chance that someone will pop their clogs if something goes wrong in a jet.

So yes, they’re trying to impress you.

Were they good at making jets?

Hell yeah! They make true flying buttkickers. Go to Youtube and you’ll see for yourself. They fly and they can shoot stuff, too.

Not only were they good at making jets, they still are…

If so, why did they stop? Why make cars?

Here’s where all your questions get answered (including the ones I didn’t cover here).

Let’s take the last question first. Why make cars? Saab started with the car building bit as World War II was finishing. It was a small aircraft company and they knew they had to diversify to keep things going after the national security threat died down (ironic now that the aircraft business is still going strong and the car business has struggled perpetually). They tried a few other things but cars seemed to be the best fit, even though only a few of the team that started the car division could drive.

As mentioned above, the answer to the first part of this two-pronged question is that they didn’t stop making aircraft at all. The aircraft and automobile divisions of the company were related until relatively recently. General Motors purchased 50% of Saab Automobile in 1990 and the remaining 50% in 2000.

Somewhere on the ads you’re watching, in the fine print, there should be a bit that says “the aircraft and car divisions of Saab are no longer related” – or words to that effect.


As to why the ads haven’t changed……parent company GM is a tightass a little strapped for cash and won’t give Saab any extra marketing money. I’m pretty sure they hope that Saab will sell more cars, but not at their expense. Not this year, at least.

If you want to see new ads, maybe you should try a program that Cadillac are sponsoring?

You may also like


  1. That’s hilarious. Talk about someone who just doesn’t get it and isn’t afraid that others know it either!

    I’d never heard of this ChefElf before now, and now I know I wasn’t missing-out on anything.

    After hearing the revered Jeremy Clarksson pick on SAAB, I really couldn’t care if ChefElf doesn’t get it.

    What’s wrong with the Griffin logo? Would it be better to have a white propeller spinning against a blue sky as your logo just because your company used to make aircraft engines 95 years ago? 😉

  2. What an jackass! He know nothing and is just nagging on..and..on..and..on ChefElf suck! And the logo must be the coolest logo that exists, It’s a symbol for sweden, cus it looks like our (in swedish) Riksvapen!
    Btw nice Swade!

  3. Swade

    That was an awesome response.

    Maybe there should be a Lamborghini series:

    “Born from Tractors” and advertised in the US on Country Music Television.

  4. Nice work Swade!

    Love your work too Tript.

    BMW – “Born from Bubble Cars”

    VW – ” Born from Not Very Nice Times”

    Honda – “Born from Motorbikes”

    Volvo – “Born from ZZzzzzz…

  5. Don’t get that Chefelf thing. Just another American with absolutely now clue at all of things outside his own county? Does he also think Saab is made by polar bears from Switzerland?

    Actually, Skoda Auto (as one of the main sponsers of le Tour) advertises that thay started making bicycles about 100 years ago. Maybe he should send them a letter as well…

  6. 1985 Gripen,

    I see Australia is getting those Skoda thingies soon, apparently a cheaper VW.

    So a Skoda is therefore a really cheap Audi, no you know 😉

  7. turbin: I live in Los Angeles (U.S.A.) so I still won’t know what a Skoda is! Actually, I’m abnormal as far as Americans go (on so many levels): I do know what a Skoda is. I even know the difference between Sweden and Switzerland and Austria and Australia! 😉

  8. Wow.

    At the end of WWII many aeroplane companies found themselves in the same position. To stay afloat, you diversify, and that’s what Saab did.

    Gripen: On the BMW logo, I’m glad you cought it because I sure was going to! Funny how Bavarian Motor Works history doesn’t seem as rich as Saab’s, IMHO.

    Turbin: Nice parodies! I like ’em!

    Opel: Born from Sewing Machines

    Doesn’t sound as rabid as Saab’s take, eh?

  9. saab honestly has one the most distinct ,great looking logo. who can pull off a half lion and half eagle and make it look premium. SAAB RULES!

  10. mo is right.

    Also, Swade, the Saab community would like to thank you (or maybe just me) for cyber-back-hand-slapping ChefElf in the face.

  11. Well, it wasn’t meant to be any sort of backhander. I was just trying to answer the questions, but whatever….

    I like the idea of starting a “Born from….” campaign. That could be fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *