VW Jetta ad: Joyful or junk?

If you’re a fan of dancing, Gene Kelly, or Donald O’Connor, you should love Volkswagen’s new Jetta commercial. Right?

Maybe not.

Singin’ in the Rain, starring Kelly and O’Connor, is one of my favorite movies. And when I saw both men start dancing in the Jetta commercial, a smile came to my face. But then my brain kind of interrupted and wiped that smile away.

Take a look at the commercial if you haven’t seen it yet.

This ad is an example of a great idea gone bad. Maybe they should’ve started with people watching footage of Kelly and O’Connor dancing. And then showed those same people getting in the car and reenacting the scene in the back seat.

See, the problem is that VW is touting Jetta’s spacious rear legroom. But, if they show us a doctored video, those of us watching don’t have reason to trust their claims. Show actual people dancing and we’re more likely to believe.

Another problem is, again, that VW is touting Jetta’s spacious rear legroom. Is legroom high up on the priority list of most Jetta buyers? I find that hard to believe. From my experience, I see most Jetta owners as in their teens and twenties.

Does this audience care about legroom? Do they even know who Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor are?

I doubt it. And that’s why this commercial doesn’t work.

What do you think?


If you’re a fan of Kelly and O’Connor, check out GeekGirlDiva’s post for the video of their original performance. Also, I want to use this space to give props to the students at Penn State. In their THON (46-hour dance marathon) this weekend, they raised more than $9.5 million to help kids with cancer. Congratulations!! THON is an amazing student-run event that makes me proud to be a Penn Stater. Go State!

Bad service is the worst marketing

Everything a company does helps determine its brand. Every interaction with the public can be considered marketing.

So then why do so many companies still fail at even basic customer service?

What can Brown do for you? That was UPS’ ad slogan. They moved from a friendly, customer-focused tagline to a dry one that’s all about them.

UPS graphic We Heart Logistics

They say they changed it to “We [heart] logistics” for a more global appeal, but I don’t think it works. And, in my experience, I don’t think UPS backs up either tagline.

Recently, I ordered a few items from Drugstore.com. Got e-mail notifications confirming my order and then confirming shipment pretty quickly. And, I have to say, I love being able to track my packages.

But, in this case, I didn’t receive my package, even though UPS tracking showed that I did.

Here’s the problem, one of them anyway: My town shares a zip code with the neighboring town, and in that neighboring town is a house with the same street address as mine. Of course, UPS knows this because I have explained it to them several times. And for a company that “hearts” logistics, it should be no problem.

First, I called UPS and spoke to Brandon. He made it quite clear he did not want to handle my problem, and he quickly tried to blame non-delivery on Drugstore.com.

What can Brown blame on you? Interesting.

Brandon’s poor behavior, however, was redeemed by UPS representative number two, Roosevelt. Roosevelt actually listened and seemed like he was taking notes on everything I said. He told me someone would call Monday, and I felt relatively confident he might set things straight for me.

In the meantime, I called Drugstore.com. After a pleasingly short automated greeting, a very friendly Tristan asked how he could help. I explained everything and he immediately offered to send out a replacement package.

I still had faith in Roosevelt though, and asked Tristan to just initiate a tracer (as UPS requested). I wanted to give UPS a chance to correct their mistake.

On Monday, as Roosevelt promised, I got a call from Julie at UPS. Did she call the number I asked to be called at? No, but I could easily call back. So I did.

Ring, ring. “UPS. Hold ple-” was how I was greeted. Ok, no problem. I don’t mind that the woman didn’t wait to hear me say anything or that she put me on hold before she even finished her sentence. Sadly, I’m used to that sort of behavior from other businesses.

I was just happy that the person who eventually answered was able to get me to Julie.

But Julie didn’t seem to know much about my package. In fact, I felt like she was given a message just to call me and wasn’t even told why. She tried to clear things up by saying, “We’re so busy here.”

Busy working out those logistics UPS loves?

I explained everything, again, and she said she’d talk to the driver. The call just kind of ended. She never called back again. I don’t know if she talked to the driver or not. My guess is she was probably too busy.

So I called Drugstore.com back, and Lisa answered the phone. She was just as friendly as Tristan, which was so refreshing after my Brown experience. She reordered my items for me, noted that Tristan had indeed put the tracer on the first UPS package and she was also able to send this new package through standard U.S. Mail, so it has a better chance of actually getting to me.

I could not be happier with my Drugstore.com experience. Tristan and Lisa made me want to use them even more than I do now. The only thing that would make me happier is if they switched to FedEx Ground for their shipments.

I will tell everyone I know about this, which will be terrific marketing for Drugstore.com, but pretty poor marketing for UPS.

And by the way, “We’re so busy” should never be an excuse you tell your customers. After all, they’re the ones who are making you so busy and you might want to thank them for it.

Super Bowl ads follow the same old playbook, muff mobile

Advertisers and marketers, did you notice what was missing from this year’s Super Bowl commercials?

Beer ads? No. Mobile phone with view of NFL Mobile

Aliens? No.

Cowboys? No.

Humor? No…well, sometimes.

What was missing from this year’s Super Bowl ads? Mobile.

I was so disappointed. I really thought this would be the year advertisers would integrate mobile. This is the year they should have. (Mobile Marketer and Vibes agree and have stats to show why.)

They had a captive audience at one of the most watched events of the year. AND the viewers LIKE to watch the commercials! What’s that called again? Oh yes, opportunity.

Last year’s Super Bowl was watched by 106 million people. Doritos, Budweiser, Best Buy and all the other brands who spent ungodly sums of money to run their ads could’ve used their allotted time more wisely by using mobile to engage their audience for more than just those 60 seconds.

Think of how many people watch from their local bar. You know, the one they check into on foursquare all the time. Gee, Budweiser, couldn’t you think of anything to do with that?

Off the top of my head—have viewers check in or text from the bar to win a free Bud Light. (Limit the number of winners of course.) Winners could even text back a photo of themselves with that beer. You could post the pictures on your Facebook page or run them on another commercial.

Most disappointing was Motorola’s ad for their new Xoom tablet. If anyone should be the first to integrate mobile well with a Super Bowl ad, it should easily be a mobile technology company. BOOOOOO!!

How hard is it to ask viewers to (at the very least) text “Xoom” for a chance to win your new tablet? Don’t you need all the help you can get to compete with the iPad?

And what about Chevy Camaro? With two minutes to go in the fourth quarter of the game, I thought you were going to save the day.

You run an ad where two guys talk back and forth about different scenarios for several parts of the commercial. What a beautiful setup for viewers to text in their own opinions! The car drives off a parking garage and action freezes.

Camaro ad shot of car driving off roof

I’m sure the announcer is going to say, “What happens next? You decide.” Or something like that. But no. You give the ad an ending yourself. BOOOOOO!

The only one paying attention to mobile users was the NFL. Mobile fans could get news, stats, highlights and more sent to their phone, just by texting in. Of course, the NFL probably could’ve done more with that too—like maybe remember that viewers in a bar or at a party (which is probably most viewers) might not be able to see that small print at the bottom of the screen telling them what to text in.

So, advertisers, marketers and mobile phone users, were you disappointed too?


I know I usually post blog articles on Tuesday, but given that the Super Bowl is the biggest advertising event of the year, this week’s post is early. Hope you enjoyed the game—and the ads!

The straight poop on Luvs Heavy Dooty commercial

Don’t you love how more straightlaced brands are using humor lately to promote their products?

Yes? Great.

No? Maybe I can change your mind.

When I first saw Luvs’ new commercial, I wondered if they were owned by the same company that owns Poise. They’re not (Kimberly-Clark vs. Procter & Gamble), but they both use humor to talk about topics that most people don’t like to discuss. (Need to refresh your memory? Here’s more on the Whoopi Goldberg Poise ads.)

I laughed out loud when I first saw the new Luvs commercial. See what you think:

How do you feel about it?

Most of the moms commenting on the Parenting Magazine blog seem to like it. That gives me hope. Humor can be a great way to approach touchy subjects—especially when it comes to bodily functions. And if Poise can do it, diapers surely can.

I love that they turned “Whomp, there it is” into “Poop there it is.” Not super-creative, but cute, and it works.

Normally, I’m not a fan of the overdone variations of “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” But, in this case, I think “What happens in diapers should stay in diapers” works. After all, it’s a selling point. Yes, what happens in diapers should stay in diapers—please!

The only complaint I have is that they use “Heavy Dooty” instead of “Heavy Doody.” I think this might be out of respect for trademark infringement instead of someone afraid they were pushing the poop thing too far. So, “Dooty” will have to do.

Being on the receiving end of a diaper blowout is not fun, but Luvs new ad making light of that surely is. And, if you do think their commercial is disgusting, have I got a commercial that will put that into perspective.

Of course, I thought that was funny too…and gross.


Sorry for the poor quality Luvs video. I contacted the company and Melissa H. assures me they will be releasing the official one soon. I’ll post it once available. Thanks for your patience.