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MORE RANDOM THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS
Story by Lois Grace


Welcome folks, to another edition of VolksWoman nonsense, acquired as bits and pieces of information that cross my brain pan on a regular basis. What I can remember of those bits and pieces becomes food for thought, or, rather, junk food for thought. What you are about to read is the result. Let's begin with…….

Those Chevrolet Commercials

Is it just me, or are these Chevy ads we are seeing really stupid? In the one for the Equinox, I want to cringe every time I hear the guy say "She's a bad mamma-jamma". Or does he say "That's a bad mamba-jamba"? I can't tell. Either way he sounds ridiculous and what does that mean anyway? The guy uttering this nonsense does have a man-bun which we all know means he has no credibility whatsoever so why should we care what he thinks? It just sounds like he simply cannot think of anything else to say while the Chevy camera is on him.

Then there's the assortment of guys, watching the new Chevy pickups roll out. Lots of shiny paint and chrome flashes by while the guys say things like "It looks like it's gonna EAT YA", and "WOW, that's awesome". Really? Chevrolet seriously wants us to think of their trucks as tough and sexy? I mean, that's the whole point of an ad, to make you want to run right out and buy whatever it is, but this is so insipid to me that I cannot take it seriously! I'm sure there are those who will swear that a Chevy truck is the way to go, but I've never owned a Chevy so I don't know. Honestly, these ads do nothing to encourage me to buy one because the trucks they show are so unremarkable. They look just like every other truck out there. Which must be why I love my old flat-snout VW single cab.

Those Subaru Ads

Subaru might be the best of the lot (even if they did borrow the idea from VW) with their unexpected warm-fuzzy-producing ads of family love and loyalty, Subie Style. After years of simply showing us how great they are, Subaru wants us to get all misty-eyed and weepy when we think of Subaru and what the car means to the families who own them. One notable ad shows a young guy going to meet his grandpa at the beach. The grandson drives up in a brand new Subaru SomethingOrOther, with a surfboard on top and greets Grandpa, who is pulling on his wetsuit and taking his board down from his own vintage Subaru wagon. All the while a song named "Forever Young" is playing with its plaintive guitar twangs. OK, it's a great commercial and will resonate with anyone who has owned a Subaru. But for me, these ads fell flat. While it's good for a few momentary warm fuzzies, I want to shout at the TV every time it comes on. "IT'S BEEN DONE! VOLKSWAGEN did it first, and they did it over 60 years ago, and they are STILL doing it, so they win!" In the interest of complete unbiased journalism, I will say here that the ad featuring the Golden Retriever family does make me smile, but it's probably only because I have a Yellow Lab that behaves so much like the dogs in this ad that it hits close to home. {{(after all, how can a mere Subaru come close to having the same emotional value as a VW)}} I'd recommend that you save your warm fuzzies for those cars who truly deserve them, which brings me to......

That ONE VW ad

You know the one I mean. I was hit smack-dab in the heart when I saw it for the first time. It's the one where Grandma and her kid and grandkids are on a cross country trip to see the sights. Before they left, Grandpa has written her a note which tells her to "travel, see the sights", so she says something like "From the day I arrived, I wanted to see this great country", in a slightly foreign accent. Next you see them in the car while Simon and Garfunkel's "Look For America" plays in the background. Somewhere in the middle of the trip Grandma looks out the window and wistfully says "Oh how I wish Grandpa were going with us". At the end we see Grandma and her grown daughter, and suddenly you see a grandson standing on the rocks holding what looks like an urn. Of course the next thing into your mind is that that urn contains Grandpa, and he did indeed get to go on that cross country trip. Just not in the way Grandma had hoped. The first time I saw this ad, I came completely unglued and sat on the sofa in tears. Maybe it's just because I'm kinda sappy and sentimental that way. And, maybe it's because this is the first ad for the new VW Atlas, and it is surely the most momentous of VW ads since the DD&B days of VW ads. The fun thing about this particular ad is that Grandma and her family appear in other ads, all while they are on the way across America to leave Grandpas' ashes in the Pacific. One ad ad showed us all of them sleeping peacefully in the new Atlas, in the middle of the desert somewhere, while Dad snores noisily in the tent. Another features the family in their Atlas, showing how the optional Pedestrian Monitoring System works. These ads are so clever, so heart-wrenching, and so seamlessly produced that each time I see one it's as if I am right along on that journey with them. Does this make me want to rush out and buy a new Atlas? Maybe not (after all, I am that purist-vintage-VW-weirdo), but boy does it make me take notice. Taking notice is the first step and recreating a feeling would be the ultimate sales grab. Volkswagen has always been the best at doing that, and my prediction is that they always will be. Any way you slice it, these news ads are winners.


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