I was looking at some showbiz gubbins on line earlier, watching in interview with the director of the apparently awful 'Battleship'...I haven't had the miss fortune yet to see Rihanna in her big screen acting debut...I've heard it's not great...anyway, when the vid finished, one of the next selections was this wonderful VW concept car (see above), designed I'm guessing by a competition winner (who appears at the end of the clip). The car doesn't exist of course, but what a wonderful prize...your design coming to life on the big screen, in front of your friends and family...nice!
Now, I have absolutely no idea what is being said in the video, but you can kind of get the gist of how the concept car might work, and how it may look if created. The reason why I'm talking about this today, is because I'm sick and tired of all the pretentious car adverts out there, infecting my magic picture box. There are so many b******t adverts for massive gas guzzling vehicles at the moment...it seems that there is really only one company who still have the right idea of how to advertise their cars....VW! They have always been very clever with their promotions, often using humour, but never patronising...always making you think...or smile.
The type of car adverts I hate usually consist of the gas guzzler zooming around a busy city centre...avoiding cartoon characters...? Or driving around a beautiful landscape, occupied by the perfect family..model mum...model dad...and well behaved children in the back, looking at the gorgeous landscape as it whistles by...along with dads overdraft...as he can't afford to fill the thing...or keep up with the down payments for his new toy! They just tend to over complicate things...when it's so not needed.....I seriously think in most cases, if it's a totally over the top advertisement...it usually means the car is utter poop!
Here is a prime example of one of the television adverts that really gets on my wick, every time it appears :
It's just way over the top, too much like, 'I should have taken a red pill to understand it'...I mean I get what it's all about, helping the bird escape her trapped reality..and the car allows her to do that..and of course you...but jeez, does it need to be that 'Matrixy'?
A great film starring, the sadly no longer with us Dudley Moore, is 'Crazy People'....which was all about honest advertising...and I'd love it, if someone out there, in charge of a car company would have the balls to attempt something like this:
If they were just more honest with us....I think as consumers, we'd appreciate it more...do you not think?
One of my all time favourite television car adverts was for the brand new VW Beetle when it was relaunched back in 1998. Now I used to have a classic 1974 VW Beetle, and I certainly didn't buy it for it's comfort...speed....suspension...handling....heating...no, I bought it because I fell in love with it. It just screams personality...here's a pic of what mine looked like :
I adored and cherished this car..polished and waxed it every Sunday come rain or shine, and spent a huge amount of money keeping it on the road....then it died...a quite painful death just outside Birmingham on Christmas Eve....what a time to go eh?
I was giving a lift to a good friend of mine 'Cider Boy'...the name says it all really...and I decided that it would be a good idea to travel during the night from Ipswich to Cumbria...a long old stint in a car with next to no heating...on Christmas Eve...ha! As anyone will know, who's owned a classic Beetle, you need to keep the quarter windows open..otherwise the car steams up, and if your sat in the back of the car...you need thermals..and a cushion. So we are pootling along, and I start to hear a tapping sound from the engine in the back...behind Cider Boy. He looks out of the rear window, and says he can see smoke...then says 'Drive faster...outrun the smoke'! Seeing as the smoke was coming from us, I didn't think there was any chance of us out running it.
The tapping got louder, and Cider Boy said that there were now flames bellowing from the rear, which must have looked quite impressive to anyone driving down the same stretch of motorway at 2am in the morning..but we were the only fools attempting this journey in the early hours. Cider Boy begin to chortle to himself as I got more and more angry at the situation...his chortles turning to laughter as the car let out an almighty BANG...and then nothing....and we coasted to the hard shoulder, my anger now as hot as the engine. The air in the car was as blue as Cider Boys nose, as I swore my little head off...banging the sport steering wheel, I had only bought the previous week!!
Cider Boy, now in fits of laughter at the situation suggested looking for a brake down phone by the roadside. I didn't fancy getting out of the car, as it was bucketing down outside...and about minus five, but we did, and on route a cop car pulled up alongside us. As we both stood there in the heavy rain, the window came down and we could feel the heat from inside...next a torch is shone in our faces, and the cop says ' Morning lads...is that your Beetle back there'? Er, yes officer...or do you think we just fancied a stroll on the motorway at 2am in the morning, getting piss wrapped!?! Of course I didn't say that...just in my head...I did say 'Any chance you can give us a lift down to the nearest brake down phone'? The copper said 'No'...and wished us a merry Xmas...then drove off....well cheers!
After finding the phone, and making the call to come and pick us up, we trudged back to my dying car in the rain. Cider Boy, still giggling at me, clocked the brake down truck, and suggested we got out. The brake down guy was an interesting chap....Brummie...and a bit of a comedian in his spare time. After strapping my poor car to his truck he said 'My truck has just gone down in value, with that piece of crap on the back of it...haha'! I smiled through gritted teeth, and we got in the truck. The comedian dropped us off at a rather horrible greasy cafe, and proceeded to then bill me for the privilege of his company, and the use of his truck. It was then I realised that I didn't have enough money on me to pay for this wondrous service...I said that I would ring my father, to see if he would pay. So that was an interesting call to make...'Hello dad....merry Xmas...er...the car has blown up on the motorway...could you pick me up...and...pay for the breakdown costs'?....after a few stern words he agreed to pay and make the journey down to pick us up...(thank you dad if your reading this).
As Cider Boy and myself stepped out of the oily breakdown office, the sun was starting to come up over Birmingham...and there in the car park...sat my car...dead. Nothing we could do, but go in the greasy cafe, and wait for my father to come and rescue us. When my dad eventually arrived, a decision had to be made...what to do with my cherished Beetle...I couldn't afford a new engine...so we chose to leave it there in the car park of the greasy cafe. It was the weirdest feeling, leaving it there...it truly was heart wrenching to just drive off, and leave it to the elements.
You'll be pleased to hear that it wasn't the end for that plucky car. We phoned a guy we knew who did up Beetles, and basically said to him that the car was his if he went and got it...he agreed, and as far as I know, the car is still driving around now.
Sorry, went off the beaten track there again....back to my favourite telly car advert. Like I said earlier, it was a teaser ad for the brand new look Beetle...and when I saw it on my magic picture box, I was totally blown away by how clever it was...and, it made me buy the 'Aqualung' album as well....here it is :
So simple, and so clever...everyone knew that this was going to be an advert for the brand new Beetle, so of course fans of the classic wanted to see what it looked like....but you hardly see it....all you see, are people transfixed by the car as it drives by...genius!
You can't top that car advert as far as I'm concerned, but VW have come up with another winner again with this one :
Again, using humour to make you like the car...and, always fantastic to see Star Wars references in television commercials...love it!