Wednesday, September 26, 2007

On the Road to Life, There are Passengers...Well, You Know the Rest

As an avid fan of VW (most of you know I have expressed a desire to have my Jetta buried next to me when we both expire), I am always amused by their commercials and ad campaigns. Not only because I think their commercials are hilarious and great at making fun of real life situations, but how they are able to narrow their demographic so well. I posted two very different VW commercials. The first is clearly aimed at a very young audience. It first suggests that a VW looks trendy and cool without all the crap younger teens do to the other types of Focus/Civic cars, and, second, uses extremely choppy, and almost chaotic editting. I think this attracts a younger audience because it moves quickly and barely gives the viewer time to process each frame before the entire commerical is done. This kind of editing is similar to a music video, or even some video games. It doesn't require a lot of thought and time to consume and it catches the younger audience's attention by alluding to pop culture ("drop it like it's hot," signing the VW logo with hands like it's hip "east side/west side" lingo).

The second video is obviously aimed at the college graduate to 30-something, middle class type of person. It offers enough information, although not much compared to a Buick or Cadillac (clearly aimed at a different crowd altogether), to get the viewer interested and its editting is much slower to transition into a different frame than the first video. The plot of the video creates a very clear message that the "average Joe" who doesn't do anything too exciting is encouraged to display the highlighted feature, exciting him so much that he begins speeding and screaming at other cars. The viewer equates Volkswagen to, not only to a more advanced type of driving, but also more exciting.

Yay VW!


  1. I'm intrigued by your commentary on why the commercials appeal to the different audiences. I think it's funny that you describe how fast-paced action and almost non-existant brain activity appeals to a younger audience. Why is that? Well, I supppose that is relatively obvious. You touched on the affect of video games, and I would add the Internet and cell phone features to that as well.

    The second commercial definitely appeals to me more; I am smack-dab in the middle of their target audience, which proves that their marketing strategy is right on the money. Then again, most post-college twenty-somethings are broke from student loans, thus not having much expendible income to buy a sweet car that "corners like its on rails" (thanks, Julia Roberts--Pretty Woman).

    At any rate, it's hilarious! I'd love to meet that guy...

  2. Ha! VW is another good example of hiring a great advertising agency. I too enjoy how you point out the varied styles for varied audiences. I would argue, however, that the first using quick cuts and MTV-style editing in order to parody "Pimp My Ride" and those who watch such stuff. There are great alternating shots of our "characters" and of the entire car. Peter Stormare is hilarious, and for anyone else who likes him, he might be familiar as a nihilist in "The Big Lebowski," Satan in "Constantine," or the creepy eye doctor in "Minority Report." Really, he's in a ton of stuff. Hilarious