license plates in car commercials

This may be a Canada only question, but lately I have been noticing and slightly annoyed with the fact that the cars in car commercials have license plates on them. They are painted the exact colour of the car, and are hard to make out for that reason. But what is the point?

Did some idiot sue the manufacturer because his/her car looked different than the commercial because of their plate? Or is it some obscure law like not inhaling on cigarettes back when they could advertise them, as compared to Stop-Smoking-Gum commercials where they can smoke without problem.

Does anyone have the knowledge I seek?

Good question…I have no idea. But I can speculate can’t I? I think that they paint the license plates the same color so one province or even country doesn’t feel “left out.” If they actually had license plates on a car people might not buy them because, they are not from their home country or province.

does it solve the french/english language problem? if so…

I’ve seen ‘generic’ license plates on cars in a fair number of movies and commercials made here… they’re very plain, just letters and numbers. I suspect they’re that way in commercials so that they remain inconspicuous and don’t draw attention from the actual product in the commercial. Also, sometimes it’s good to use a fictitious jurisdiction on the plate if you’re setting a movie in a fictitious ‘generic’ locale.

Whys is it called a license plate anyway? To me, a license is permission granted by someone to someone else, to use or do some kind of regulated equipment or activity. Therefore, each driver of a vehicle is licensed and has a license number but the license plate indicates its registration so why not registration or number plate?

Sunspace said

I can understand that, maybe, when the car is driving down the road, but what about when the car is spinning/floating/bringing meaning in a white room?

I guess what bugs me (over and above watching the commercial in the first place) is that the plates are not only inconspicuous, but painted the exact shade the car is, letters and all, so barring faint reflections of the raised sides of the letters, a person can hardly see the plate.

But I will let it go now…

If you have something like a Pennsylvania Railroad Heritage plate on the back of a car in a commercial, folks will be looking at the plates (“Hey, that’s our state!”) instead of the car. You’re selling a vehicle, not the DMV.