2011 VW Jetta: OK Ad for the Price of Good

January 6, 2011
After skating for an hour with my kids today, I realized how utterly mediocre my skills on this low friction surface are. Dull, mediocre, very ordinary at best. And the ice surface was just as mediocre, a milky white, lots of ruts and pretty blah. And not hours before that, I saw a 2011 Jetta TDI, unfortunately in white as well just as its unbelievably efficient, turbocharged  compression ignition 4 cylinder was rather quietly springing to life on a chilly day here in Canada. And I realized, wow, VW is really making an effort to not stand out in the compact car world, their ads included.

I have lauded VW’s ads on many occasions in this blog, and rightfully so. They have elevated the the car ad from “Come on down to Big Al’s Four Wheeled Emporium of Cheap Cars” to a true art form. VW has won awards for its advertising, and most importantly, over the past 5-10 years, they have had the product to back it up, not just the lusty GTI. So there was substance to this style. VW was the poor man’s Audi. And not so poor at that either.

And then along came the latest Jetta to pretty middling reviews. Not a standout car, well priced, built to a price and not to a standard, because VW has been getting slaughtered in the North American marketplace for 20 years. Their new tagline is “Great for the price of good.” Yes, we know it’s much less expensive to buy. Stop with the price shtick. How about wowing me with direct-injected turbocharged engines, sweet interiors and other technical wizzbangery!  

And to complement this intentionally plain Jane vehicle, the latest ad campaign in North America really has focused on price and not much else. Not style, not substance, not much frankly apart from just nice hum along music. You may remember there was a great ad at the intro of the car that was filled with humor and pathos, but since then, the ads have been very uninspiring. And dang nab it, this is VW! They should be giving me the best!

Watch the two ads below, and tell me, apart from the great background music, is there anything that really makes you say “Wow, great ad!”? (Remember, there will be a quiz at the end of this, so have your 2B pencils sharpened.) These ads are as bland as the exterior of the Jetta and don’t live up to the high standard VW has set for the industry. I wonder why? I have read the Jetta sales are doing great, so maybe this is the right approach, but

Come on VW. Make me ad I won’t forget so I can blog about the VW ads some more.

Jetta Commercial

- 1

Jetta Commercial - 2

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