That Hovercraft in the [Whatever] Insurance Commercial

You’ve all seen the commercial for some insurance company of some kind, where the spokesperson enters the frame on some kind of hovercraft.

I’m assuming this is CGI, otherwise some website would be selling them and rich people would be snapping them up left and right.

What’s the dope?

Orbitz, a travel booking company.

I believe it’s a physical prop, and not CGI.

There are three hovercraft for sale on eBay right now.

The hovercraft is real.

Why would everyone want one? They’re expensive, inefficient and difficult to control.

But the way they show it used (landing helicopter-style) is anyway not how a real hovercraft would work; it’s most likely attached to a crane/dolly that is concealed by a combination of camera shot and post-prod.

A hovercraft that can fly dozens of feet above the ground is most definitely not real.

To fill it with eels, of course.

The Orbitz dude appears to pronounce it “huvvercraft”. Is that a normal pronunciation?

Yeah, it one of the things that bugs me about that commercial. They might be using a crane and a dolly for the commercials, depending on what’s needed for the shot.

Most people here pronounce it ‘huvver’ (or kinda-sorta ‘hahver’ sometimes). I’ve also heard it pronounced ‘hoe-ver’, but it sounds funny to me.

Perhaps he’s Hungarian.

They used to be a common way to ferry across the English Channel. Might still be.

Chunnel made hoovercraft on the channel obsolete.

They are still used elsewhere though. But these are huge, ferry sized hoovercraft.

Because it’s a freaking hovercraft!! :smiley:

Actually, they were superceded by catamarans which are faster, smoother, and more efficient.

Until 2001 there were also small, 30-seater huvvercroft that crossed Hong Kong harbour as passenger ferries.

PS for some weird reason, I haven’t heard a Brit call it the “chunnel” since it opened (though that used to be the nomenclature before it was finished). We say Channel Tunnel now. But we’re weird.

In capacities like Amphibious Landing Craft

You would be wrong. The Avro Car was a secret flying saucer project that was about as stable as the craft in the commercial.

I’ve been on a Hovercraft and that Obitz thing is no Hovercraft.

Many years ago I took the Hovercraft across the English Channel. I thought it would be a cool thing to do. Actually, it was like riding an amusement park ride for an hour. There was a very friendly French girl sitting next to me. This was an automatic, dream hook-up but all I could think about was worrying that I would puke up on her shoes. What a disaster!

Yeh, the craft in the commercial is not a “hovercraft”, which depend on proximity to the ground for lift. If it were real rather than a prop, it might be described as a ducted-fan VTOL.

Wasn’t “Hovercraft” one of those things that was actually the name of a specific type or make of the product but everyone grew to use it as a generic for the whole class?

As Lumpy explains, the Orbitzcraft as portrayed in the ad scenes would be closer to the AvroCar in function, which would make it something different than what IRL is commonly referred to as a “hovercraft”. The physical object, however is evidently based on real world hovercraft.