Did you see the crazy Cadillac ELR ad during the Academy Awards? The one with the arrogant-looking hedge fund-type (actually actor Neal McDonough) asking, “Why do we work so hard? For what? For this (gesturing at swimming pool)? For stuff?”

You wanted to kill the arrogant a-hole by the end of it, right? Cadillac said the ad is “brand provocation,” and it certainly is, but I can’t imagine it selling many plug-in hybrids. Don’t those kind of guys buy Ferraris and own-the-road Cadillac Escalades? That ad did get me thinking, though. Why do companies make such bizarre commercials sometimes? Let’s take a little tour. By the way, I left out several ads in which crazed used-car pitchmen use foul language and proclaim themselves addicted to all manner of perversions. Are they real ads? No idea.

But first, that Cadillac ad:

Now if you were a California Kia dealer, would you hire well-known over-the-top actor Gary Busey to be in your ads? A limo driver once gave me an earful about driving Mr. Gary, but here he is, selling Kias:

And is David Lynch the best choice for selling boatloads of Nissans? Where are the midgets? In this ad for the Micra, the company got what it paid for:

The French may have responded to this Citroen ad, but babies riding horses might not work for Americans:

And the Dutch are an amusing lot. I'm not sure what this ad is promoting, but it's funny:

From Korea, here’s an ad that will make you want to run out and buy a Daewoo. Right now:

And finally, from the good 'ol U.S.A., a take on the 2012 Honda Odyssey minivan intended, well, to make it cool or something. But isn't Ozzie Osbourne a little, dunno, old-school?

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Jim Motavalli ( @jmotavalli ) writes about cars, technology and the environmental world to anyone curious enough to ask.