My office at work has TVs hanging from the walls. It’s nice. The screens nearest me are broadcasting ESPN all day, so I never miss the day’s Top Ten plays or the biggest news in sports. I’m not really a sports fan, but I do enjoy watching two-second clips of athletes doing amazing things. And since we are a business after all and have to get work done every now and again, the volume on the TVs are all turned down so as not to disturb us.
The lack of audio, however, didn’t keep me from noticing a new Volkswagen spot from ad agency Cripsin Porter Bogusky that features the never-aging Brooke Shields. I love the current campaign with the talking, black VW beetle because it’s a nod to the Bill Bernbach days and the invention of modern advertising he initiated back in the … 60s, was it? Anyway, it’s advertising history, and I respect Crispin for resurrecting what worked so well in the past, even if they weren’t the ones who thought of the campaigns in the first place. (See also Burger King’s “The King” and Crispin’s work for Orville Redenbacher.)
In any event, when Brooke Shields came on screen with the new Volkswagen Routan, I took notice. I had heard that Volkswagen would be introducing a minivan, and as a minivan owner myself, I was intrigued.
Since the sound was off, I didn’t hear a word of the commercial, but I assumed it was funny and particularly noticed the url at the end of the spot. www.routanboom.com.
Go to this website. It’s hilarious. The idea there is a simple one: the Volkswagen Routan is such a marvel of German engineering that it has initiated a baby boom. People are so desperate for the Routan that they’re having babies in order to justify the purchase. Brooke Shields calls it “the biggest challenges we face as a nation” and calls for those watching the video to take notice and join the cause. “Please,” asks the straight-faced Shields, “have a baby for love, not for German engineering.”
It’s great, and more importantly, completely different from anything else anyone is doing in the minivan market. Bravo, Volkswagen. You continue to stand out. You clearly understand the mindset and attitude of your demographic and nail it in your advertising every time. As an ad lover, child-rearer and minivan driver, I applaud you.
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