Dodge Caravan: The Ad That Made Me Have Kittens

August 22, 2010

Obviously any human who watches advertising has an opinion on what is good, what is bad and what is just plain out there. And where the automobile is concerned, the ads have to meet the target audiences' needs and desires, the ads have to be dead on and make you say either consciously or subconsciously, yeah, I could see me in that vehicle, it doesn’t damage my image, it enhances it. Unless it's a minivan.

Too Uncool
The minivan has long been derided as a soccer mom vehicle, something people who have given up on fun and the fast life. It is the vehicle that makes once cool parents cringe at the the thought of a box-shaped convenience conveyance meant for big box stores and the garden center. It saps any coolness you ever had and relegates you the deepest, darkest corners of suburbia.

But does it have to be that way? Do slamming sliding doors have to be the metaphorical equivalent of the hipness guillotine? Is every slam of the doors, every whir of the electric door closer motors tantamount to another layer of coolness being shaved off? It doesn’t have to be that way at all. However, when you are starting from a deep image hole, one way of changing that image is with a great car ad, and I was alerted to this one for the Dodge Caravan by a fellow auto hound at (bless him).

Check out this mini-movie ad that is a full 2 minutes long. Watch it first and then there will be a 500 word essay, so ask yourself the following questions after the ad.

What the heck was that ad all about? I spent a lot of time on pain killers as a youth and probably had one drink too many, so I have imagined odd things from time to time. But not this weird. Ok, the tag line says you can use a minivan for any activity, even for sinister things (apart from watching Pop Eye videos on the optional DVD screen). Hence the menacingly black minivan. I think. But people in kitten masks? Dogs? Mice? Gangland meetings in a warehouse? Is there a film student in the house who can clue me in?

Does this make the Dodge Caravan cool? I guess the answer is a qualified maybe. You can see that you get a whole lot of stuff with the Dodge. It serves many purposes. A rolling movie theater for kids and adults, and you can pack people in for all your activities. Such as meeting in an abandoned warehouse to do battle with your animal brethren.

Is it a good car ad? I'd say yes. I was drawn in quickly, and you can see that there is some thought to the creation of this ad. It's certainly a well-filmed ad, there is mood, tension, odd characters, changing music to match the tempo. And you can see the minivan very clearly at the beginning an end. You know what vehicle they are advertising, I am just thinking the ad is a bit out there, and yet it is way different from any other minivan you have ever seen. And that is good. Make the viewer wonder a bit, take away the family/big box/soccer mom stereotype right away.

I am sure you have your thoughts on this ad, and I'd love to know them. This one is worth a discussion.

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