Boring Features, Bad Dog, Good Volkswagen, Great Advertising

Ahh, Volkswagen, you’ve done it again. VW commercials tend to be hit or miss. And their latest “Bad Dog, Good Volkswagen” is a hit. At least I think so—see what you think:

Just looking at this dog is enough to entertain you, especially with Johnny Cash’s “Dirty Old Egg-Sucking Dog” pulling you through the story. The man in the commercial plays off the dog perfectly—his facial expressions, the way he holds the dog add to the humor of this ad.

This commercial hits the tenets of good advertising. In addition to the humor and the fitting song, above all else, it’s memorable. And that’s really what makes or breaks an ad.

Who wouldn’t remember that dog and the guy holding the dog next to his car to close all the windows. Priceless…and a great way to show the features of your car without being boring.

This commercial is so much better than the “Door Thunk” ones and ranks right up there with the Star Wars kid thinking he starts his dad’s car.

Hit or miss, Volkswagen is definitely creative when it comes to showing off its car features. I can’t think of any other car company showcasing these “boring, but nice to have” features of their car so well.

Can you?


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!