As I got off the train to go to work this morning, in my clouded head that so desperately needed strong, black coffee to make the synapses fire, and kick other bodily functions into top gear, I bemoaned the fact that there's so little good car advertising outdoors in most public places. What a shame, I thought--there is little in the way of crafty, well thought-out advertising that you just come upon like art. I am not talking about billboards, those distracting, dangerous things that take our eyes off the road.
No, I'd rather see something unique, something that inspires me, or at least make an impression on my faulty memory. So far it has been bland all the way. And then I turned the corner and saw the VW dealership I see every time I walk to work. And out of the blue, the VW commercial with Trio's Da Da Da popped into my head. Now that was a great commercial that had sticking power and it was the music that really stuck in my head. I associate two things with that song: VW and my late teen years.
So I went hunting for some other superb musical VW ads and these are my top five:
John Mayer New Beetle: White background, white Beetle, and lots of hard edge blues. Watch how Mayer uses the car to play the guitar and how alive the music is. Well shot and just great music to go with great sounds.
Little GTI (MkI): I have blogged before on this ad, and I still think it's one of the best VW GTI ads there is. The twist on the Ronnie & The Daytonas "Little GTO" is priceless and makes the whole commercial come alive. And a great adaptation into German, I must say.
GTI Beat: This one is all about the music, and you only see the car at the very end. You are totally hooked by the music, by the guy "driving" his drum kit, how he flows in traffic. And then comes the car at the very end. What a hook! If that isn't great directing, I don't know what is.
Beetle Smile: This is a sweet commercial filmed much the same way as the GTI Beat commercial, it's all about the people who look at the car, and you only see it in a reflection for a few seconds right at the end. But it's the combination of music and images that makes this ad play your heart strings. Nicely done.
Park Assist: This one was nominated for the Cannes 2009 festival and deservedly so. The music is sweet and complements the old couple, who are super mega German (the old man's eternal frown is something you see every where in that country on old men bitter that they are being driven around by, gasp, a woman!). And the music stops as soon as the parking procedure begins, as soon as the dear old Oma turns into a bearded guy, dressed as his wife, who parks the car in a heartbeat. And then the music starts again, Oma is back in the driver's seat and the old man is in shock. It's music that makes it all come together.
Enjoy the ads and tell me if I am wrong. I am not.