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I'm Puzzled...

Why does Volkswagen think that anybody is going to buy their cars because they cause people to punch each other?
As a matter of fact I am really offended by the commercial that has a father take his kids out for a drive specifically so that people will punch each other. At the end he asks, "Want to do it again?" and is met with cheers from the kids.
They may have meant it to be funny, but it doesn't help when you are trying to convince small children that random acts of violence are not a good thing.


GHR

Comments

( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
sibylle
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:01 pm (UTC)
Do you have a link to the commercial? I think it might be a German tradition of sorts (that I have never understood/bought into, but I think my cousins used to play the "Punch Buggy" game when they were younger. It was ... annoying.)
sibylle
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:03 pm (UTC)
And, to clarify, you punched people in the shoulder when you saw a VW Beetle, and you pinched them when you saw a Citroen 2CV (whose German name is "duck"). That made occurrences of being punched pretty rare ... but no less annoying.
katyhh
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:09 pm (UTC)
I just looked on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRkOE2doOZ4&feature=channel
Yup, that's the game. But I have to say, on this one I can agree with Gretchen, it's not really getting the "game" thing across.
That one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ3wgX2Oruo&feature=channel is better, I think that one's pretty cute.
katyhh
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, and there is a follow-up to the latter one:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uTjhpa4jxE&feature=channel
(has not really anything to do with punching, but with the commercial)
madfilkentist
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:52 pm (UTC)
I just watched the first one (even though I rarely watch videos at work) and was bewildered and annoyed. The point at the end seemed to be that the kids wanted to see more people punched. I wouldn't call the punches in the commercial "violent," but they were certainly rude. What kind of people exactly are they marketing to?
daisy_knotwise
Aug. 16th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
The parents of small children, apparently. The ad played three times this morning on NickJr. during the new Dora The Explorer birthday episode.
Compared to CSI or Criminal Minds, this isn't violent, but when your pre-schoolers like to whack each other for no apparent reason, you don't want examples like this.

GHR
katyhh
Aug. 16th, 2010 06:08 pm (UTC)
I think we are running into a cultural difference thing here, and maybe some researcher didn't do their homework.
Germans know the game and - at most - roll their eyes at this but are not necessarily annoyed. I can see Gretchen's point about "how to tell your kids this is not ok" though.
Hm. Gretchen, maybe tell them it's a German custom, and you don't do this in America. For now they will believe you. Maybe :)
smoooom
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
Seriously? I've missed this one, sounds like a good thing, stupid commercials drive me to action. There are products I have not used because of stupid commercials. Someday perhaps there will be intelligence in TV?
smoooom
Aug. 16th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
Oh, Punch-buggy-blue. Sting-ray. Rabbit. Etc. THAT game. It's a game we used to play IN the car. VW obviously doesn't understand the rules of the game. You need to see an actual "bug" to punch some one. We used to play the game when we where teens. It's dumb, you can't hit random people who aren't "playing" driving around so you can get people to punch each other? that's just stupid. What kind of message is this?
qnofhrt
Aug. 16th, 2010 07:20 pm (UTC)
I don't get it either but that's nothing new for car commercials. Or any kind of other commercials either. The last commercial I liked watching was the sprint commercial "If delivery people ran the world".
shannachie
Aug. 16th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
They don't run the ad in Germany.
joecoustic
Aug. 16th, 2010 11:46 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I don't really like the whole series of them much. But I've never liked that type of "game" or humor anyway.
judifilksign
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:39 am (UTC)
Peace, Love and Bugs
In our family, we call out "LOVE BUG!" and make the deaf sign for "I love you" on our nose, but crinkling the two middle fingers of the "I love you" sign up and down so it looks like the sign for "BUG."

This way, we get to have bragging rights about finding the round VW Bugs without any hitting.
capplor
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:39 am (UTC)
Re: Peace, Love and Bugs
I was told that the "bug" sign with too much expression means something else (more akin to "love" but NSFW)

But we just play that everyone other than the first person to spot the bug has to say "aw shucks". Now the kids think that's the "proper" way to play the game, and wouldn't dream of hitting each other. (Well, not for that)
exapno
Aug. 17th, 2010 01:56 am (UTC)
Ugh - especially based on where you're seeing the ads running :( Not at ALL what's needed at that phase.

Though it might not help much any more, my kids an I play an alternate version - when we see a Bug, we play "hugg bug" instead (though since we're belted in, the huggs are just tallied until we're out of the car). Fun part about that is regardless of who has the most 'points' we all win, be cause everyone gets to enjoy the huggs :)

Personal variations include "double huggs" - if we see a "double" of our car it's worth 2 (same make/model; when we had a less-common color, it also included diff vehicles with same paint). And Double-Hugg Rare Bug - orig. style VW Bugs are also worth 2 :)
marmot63
Aug. 17th, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
Meredith loves that commercial. We play our version all the time, no hitting, especially since Mere has no siblings to hit and I'd be the first target. And I'm usually driving, so...

As a kid, we played "slug bug" all the time and probably drove my mom crazy with it. This time around we just yell "yellow one", "blue one", etc. Mere loves to spot them before me.

The commercial is effective with my 10 yr old who really wants a bug when she is old enough to drive and have a car. The small cute size/shape really appeals to her and she's having a great time playing the game.
lindaneely
Aug. 17th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
My goodness I'm glad you wrote this - I get annoyed every time the stupid commercial comes on and I say things to my husband like, "do they think this is funny?" and "do they think this makes people want their cars?" You have no idea how good it feels to find out that other people think it's as stupid as I do. And I love finding out they don't run the commercial in Germany.

It's almost as annoying as the gecko.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )