Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Soapbox Rant: Volkswagen Advert

Dear Volkswagen,

I love your cars. Really. German engineering – MWAH! Big kiss. Pain in the ass expensive to repair, but great fun to drive and you can drive those puppies into the ground. Also, potential to be incredibly cute in a way that doesn't bug (heh, see what I did there? no? read on) the crap out of me. By which, I mean the reincarnation of the Beetle. Kudos on that.

I grew up with Volkswagen cars. First there was the grass green Beetle of my infancy (really ugly). When my parents sold it, my sister and I stood by the driveway sobbing as the new owners drove it away. Mom and Dad traded up for the dark green Beetle of my childhood, followed by the grass green Rabbit of my pre-adolescence and finally the dark green Rabbit of my teenage years. The 'rents definitely had a green theme going on there. After that came the one lemon, the red Jetta, a totally cash suck for many years. Probably it was the color change that did it.

I loved that last Rabbit. I called it The Turtle thanks to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle plush toy (Michelangelo, natch. Kowabunga dude) won on the boardwalk of the Jersey shore that adorned my dashboard. And the whole green thing. Sadly, the name never caught on with anyone but me, but that was enough. That Rabbit was bliss, that car was freedom. And it was my first and last stick shift transmission. I loved driving that car.

Ergo, I have the pedigree for this rant. So pay attention.

It is NOT Punch Dubya. We are not, however much we may desire, punching George W. Bush every time we see a VW.


Get it right, you gits.

This is a (car) game specific to the VW Beatle – AND ONLY THE BEETLE. Beetle=a bug=buggy=Punch Buggy. I don't know where it came from or how it began, but I do know what it is and especially, what is it not. And every single time I see your commercial, I scream at the screen, "It's Punch Buggy you brainless gits!" If I was deliberating on whether or not to buy a VW right now, this would have lost you a sale. Yep, it's that important.

Listen. If you're going to use the parlance of slang that has risen up around one of your seminal, for better or for worse, products, DO NOT bastardize it by stretching a dodgy advertising campaign across the entire line of automobiles. All you're doing is creating bad will amongst those of us savvy enough to know and fond enough to remember your original incarnation of said model (namely me) for whom Punch Buggy is a reminder of long cars rides to the Poconos and other parts of the tri-state area when my sister and I negotiated for real estate of the back seat while we sang songs and played games (and fought) to pass the time in an era before DVD players and iPhones and iPods and whatever else parents stick on or at their kids to shut them up became de rigueur.

Seriously man! Don't violate my childhood with your flawed marketing schemes.

Deep breath.

I aim an emphatic finger in your collective direction.

Don't. Mess. With the Punch Buggy.



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