Friday, February 4, 2011
There's a Volkswagen spot making the rounds right now that people seem to be gushing over. All I can say is that as an industry, we have forgotten how to make an ad.
Oh, it's cute. Yes, it is. The acting is wonderful. And though I saw the joke coming from two exits away, it's still charming.
My issue involves none of that. My issue is this: What does the commercial tell me about this particular VW? That you can start it with your remote.
I don't think I'm wrong when I say that Volkswagen is fighting for its life in the US. Hyundai sales keep rising. And many many more people buy Toyotas, Hondas and Nissans than VWs. Everyone else's sales in January saw double-digit gains. Volkswagen gained 6.8%. See chart.
So now, according to this commercial, I should write VW on my shopping list because it's cute?
I think what's happened is that our industry has been perniciously affected by the web. On the web, once someone gets there, you can forget about the competition. You are, essentially, in a magazine that has ads only for your product. You may have to be interesting, or cute, but you don't have to talk about the competitive advantages of your product.
Sure a commercial needs to be interesting and compelling. But it also needs to provide useful consumer information. Otherwise it is just a shoe-shine, a smile and a handshake. With no substance behind it.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:28 AM