How To Prevent Treason, Ambush, and Murder: VW's Side Assist

April 5, 2011

With VW proudly touting they will be the number-one automaker in the world in short order--VW is selling more cars than ever before in its illustrious history, and Ferdinand Piech is pulling the strings at the nine brands he oversees in the motorized rainbow of the Volkswagen Group--there is a lot of action happening going on in Wolfsburg and Inglostadt and elsewhere in the empire.

So to keep the juggernaut going forward, VW has invested in technology to keep costs down as well as to make their cars feel and seem like premium wagons. They are spending huge sums on marketing and fancy software to work more closely with their dealers for ad campaigns. They are absolutely determined to win back the American market with sanely conceived models that actually appeal to a large segment of Americans--instead of instinctively telling their dealers to “Sell more Golfs!”

But let’s face it, no matter how good the product is, you have got to sell the damn things with great ads. They must adhere to the old adage “sell the sizzle, not the steak.” Or in this case Schweinesteak. But I digress.

VW has come up with a great series of ads for their Side Assist technology, a tech feature that, much like that of many other manufacturers, helps a driver avoid vehicles lurking in blind spots--thus avoiding a crash and an embarrassing traffic jam, or possibly, a fist fight with some wound-up metrosexual having a bad hair day. Side Assist may just save mankind.

But it’s these three ads that are just pure gold, pure VW genius that make you laugh out loud when you realize what they are trying to achieve. All three are simple, short and make you think for just a second. You do need to know a bit about history, literature and pop culture to understand all three, so these ads are not aimed at the guy with tattoos, poor dental work and a pickup truck made from an old Yugo. It’s clearly aimed at educated folks, especially those with a good and twisted sense of humor.

Also note that you do not see a car once, as it wouldn't make sense. I think it’s a nice approach and a unique way to make you think of the VW brand and how advanced they are. Once again, VW leads the way on the advertising world, and if the upcoming new cars are as good as these ads, we all might soon be paying homage to Darth Piech.


Caesar & Brutus

Trojan Horse

Hannibal Lecter


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