Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I know I spend all kinds of time here referring to what a great job I think CP&B does. But I was just poking around on the vw website (not because I'm car shopping, but because I'm a little bored and I'm wide awake) and it suddenly dawned on me: I don't like VW anymore. And I'm blaming it on two things:

I'm no longer their target (although I bought a car in their price range and class this year).

I no longer feel an emotional connection with the brand.

Which is sort of weird. You see, I grew up with a collection of VWs. My dad liked them. I liked them. My first car was a VW Quantum. My sister's first car was a VW. My wife's first car purchase was a used Passat. I did an honors thesis researching VW ads, and their creators, in college.

I was smitten.

And then Arnold started doing those great, great TV spots for the Jetta, the Golf, the New Beetle. Remember when "Pink Moon" started playing? Holy shit - if there was one thing Arnold knew how to do and do well, it was an emotionally charged VW commercial with a compelling soundtrack. I still get goosebumps.

CPB? Not so much. Funny stuff. Different stuff. But emotionally poignant stuff? I can't think of one. A lot of their new stuff has a similar freshness to the product/benefit stuff DDB did back in the early days of the beetle (I'm thinking about the new John Mayer/guitar ad where you get to see the windshield wipers that make a great metronome.

But not necessarily emotionally deep work. I mean, I'll remember the "pink moon" spot for a long time. And I don't think I'll remember much emotional work from CPB at all.

Except for that Ikea Lamp Spot. Jesus, was that good.


J_Fox said...

They're trying to Mini VW. Look at their print work especially. But what worked for Mini doesn't necessarily work well VW. Mini was a niche, quasi-startup brand with built-in hipness. VW lured a lot of buyers in with their Arnold ads only to disappoint them with crappy quality. Kinda gotta address that if you want people to come back.

I do think the "crash" spots are good from an emotional standpoint, but a little goes a long way.

James-H said...

And like that, "to Mini" is a verb.