Ad of the week, no 3

21 Mar

Ad of the week this week is this one from Volkswagen.

The premise of the ad (and I imagine the pitch to the client) goes:

You know, right, you know when you’re, like walking down the road, and like, somebody is coming towards you, like, right towards you, like, on the same pavement and everything, yeah? Well, like imagine that, right, only there’s a guy, like reading a paper, and a woman is walking towards him, and they, like, do that awkward ‘Gaah! You move, no YOU move!’ thing, and they come right up close and he thinks she just can’t get out of the way and it’s, like, oh my god so awkward BUT SHE’S LOOKING AT THE POLO AD ON HIS PAPER BECAUSE THERE’S SOME OFFER OR OTHER OR WHATEVER ON THERE AND IT’S REALLY, LIKE, BRILLIANT AND SHE IS LITERALLY TRANSFIXED BY IT!

It continues a long line of VW ads featuring a price that distracts punters.

Like this one.

The difference between the two is, to my mind, clear. You might think the second is the better ad because it’s a lot funnier, is a better idea, is executed infinitely better and has a wonderful implied ending that allows the imagination to work.

You’d be wrong. You’d be wronger than conjoined twins performing a simultaneous Gary Glitter / Michael Jackson tribute act. The first ad is infinitely better. Why? Well, to the untrained eye, the ending is just the ending. But I can guarantee you that the shot of the car driving down the road next to the woman (that’s it – the shot that looks like it’s been crowbarred in by a burglar with no hands) was added at the request of the client who said something like, ‘Where’s my car? I want my car. It’s a car ad. Hold on! I’m having an idea! Why doesn’t the car just drive past at the end? Brilliant, eh? I told you I was a bit creative, didn’t I?’

At which point, the account man laughed long and hard and agreed to do exactly what the client had asked, while the creatives turned slowly to face the wall, hopeless even beyond tears, knowing that their time had past and that they were the mere carriers of other men’s shit-slopped bedpans.

And a fucking good job too! If they’d just ended after the ad had made its point, they’d have had something like the award-winning second ad. And everybody knows ads that win awards don’t work. And if they do work, they make the agency look better than the client, and what kind of felch-pipe wants that? A felch-pipe heading for the dole queue, that’s who!

So, in summary, bravo to the client for rescuing what would have been an otherwise disastrously subtle ad. PHEW!

I am Dave Knockles! And I want my car!


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