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Intrepidation

Passat Commercial

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There's this new Passat commercial, where people are using megaphones to shout brags or things they are compensating for. At the end of the commercial it saying something to the effect that VW is the only German brand without an ego. This is fine...but if they are refering to other Geerman Marques...why was a Dodge Viper GTS there? It's American!!

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There's this new Passat commercial, where people are using megaphones to shout brags or things they are compensating for. At the end of the commercial it saying something to the effect that VW is the only German brand without an ego. This is fine...but if they are refering to other Geerman Marques...why was a Dodge Viper GTS there? It's American!!

DCX?

But, yeah, I agree. Here's a fascinating article on this...

Anatomy of cool: how to pick cars with credibility

Andy Wilman, the producer of Top Gear, explains the ground rules of its infamous Cool Wall

Posted Image

There was a time when motoring journalists could claim to be a kind of fourth emergency service, when their advice could mean the difference between life and death. The period was at its peak about 30 years ago when cars were shoddily assembled by workshy lefties in the Midlands, angry Bolsheviks in France, or worse still by Italians behaving normally.

These were heady times for the consumer: would your car collapse mid-corner because half the components were missing, or would the rust shear the body in two before you got to the corner? Sadly those days are gone. Italian cars don’t oxidise, Skoda jokes fall flat, and in consumer satisfaction surveys even the worst cars score 75%.

This leap in quality also means we motoring journalists have pretty much had it. Whereas we used to write that the Princess was tricky to drive because Red Robbo had forgotten to fit a steering wheel, we now complain that the steering on a Mégane is “slightly vague”. Pretty soon we’ll be differentiating cars on the quality of the oil on the glove box hinges.

This means we need another yardstick against which cars are graded, and that yardstick is coolness — how cool is your car? What does your car say about you? As with all matters involving style the whole business is complicated. I know because I’ve immersed myself in the subject. Richard Hammond and I recently wrote a book called What Not to Drive which won the Booker prize, the Whitbread and a Pulitzer and made me a billionaire.

Of course I still need a hobby so I produce the BBC’s Top Gear, where we have the Cool Wall, which seems to have become the nation’s unofficial barometer of what’s cool and what’s not. Our three presenters can never agree on how cars should score but even when they are squabbling they acknowledge there are basic ground rules of cool, and here they are.

Ignore what celebs buy

If Sienna Miller steps out in shoes made from cheddar cheese, every secretary in the land copies her. But do resist the urge to follow celebs’ car choices. First, so many celebs these days are pond life that they bring the car in question down to their level. Jade Goody, or some dim footballer who’s converted his stable block to a home tanning centre, will crush the coolness of a Rolls-Royce Phantom.

Second, even the proper charismatic celebs can’t make an uncool car look cool — Cameron Diaz is a sad sight in a Prius — so what chance have you got?

Beware of fashion cars

Fashion cars are the ones that make a massive impact for five minutes and then look clichéd and vaguely ridiculous. I give you the Audi TT.

The other problem with fashion cars is you might buy one the moment it hits the showrooms, but then everyone gets one, and unless you drive around with a big sign saying “I bought mine first” you look a bit of a divvy. And if you do drive round with a big sign you still look like a divvy. And if you buy one at the same time as the herd you again look like a divvy. Most fashion cars are retro-themed — VW Beetle, Chrysler PT Cruiser, Jaguar S-type — and are deeply uncool anyway.

Forget about how good the car is

This is probably the most important rule. A car’s coolness has nothing to do with how quickly it goes round a corner or how well it’s nailed together. The Chrysler 300C has the driving dynamics of a donkey, but no car matches it for sheer Sopranos presence. Conversely the BMW 3-series is often voted best driving saloon by beards and anoraks, yet every close and crescent in Milton Keynes is infested with them. Not cool.

Let the car do the talking

If you have to explain why your car is special it’s not cool. For example: “I’ve got a Skoda, but don’t worry it’s the rally-ish type vRS powered by the FSi 2 litre turbocharged to deliver 200bhp at . . .” Now compare that with: “I’ve got an Aston.” Exactly.

Beware supercars and sports cars

An easy trap to fall into. Ferraris are seen as the pinnacle of automotive erotica and in engineering and pedigree terms they are. But who drives them? Middle-aged timber-yard tycoons from Surrey. What ladies go for them? Mainly the ones who go up and down a pole for a living. Same story, unfortunately, with TVRs — the chariot of unimaginative City boys. In truth the only real cool supercar name at the minute is Maserati, and a couple of Astons qualify.

Ignore price tags

This is the flipside of the supercar rule. Money doesn’t matter in cool. It’s the man walking down the street with a baby syndrome. Men may think this is an irksome, middle-aged predicament, but women who have their Mills & Boon goggles on see a hunk rescuing a puppy from a burning house. Likewise cheap cars are fine — a Fiat Panda, a Clio or most other European superminis are fantastically cool.

It's different for the sexes

A girl looks cool driving a TVR, whereas a man does not. A girl looks cool in a Mitsubishi Evo, a man does not. A girl looks cool in a Smart Roadster, a man does not. Sadly, though, it doesn’t work the other way round. There are no cars that girls don’t look cool in but men do.

Colour matters

Some colours are overdone and render a car uncool. People buy cars in silver because they think it’s subtle and understated — a bit of Armani rather than Versace — but it’s about as original as exposed brick in loft apartments. Some colours, though, can make a car. I believe the Golf GTI, for example, to be inherently uncool, but in white that’s a different story.

Not all the badge is uncool

Most car companies have at least one car in the line-up that’s cool, so don’t write off a whole brand. Even Toyota has the funky little Yaris, and BMW has the 6-series coupé. Sift through the Polos and Passat estates at Volkswagen, and you’ll find the much-overlooked Phaeton.

Never discuss cool with salesmen

Just don’t even go there, as they have no idea what you’re on about. These are the people, remember, who try to entice customers into their showrooms by covering the forecourt with balloons. I ask you, what successful businessman in his forties, driving home, thinks: “Yes! Balloons. I must go in that shop and get a new Audi.”

Accessorising doesn't work

Trinny and Susannah may be able to liven up the woman who prices the fruit and veg in Asda with the deft addition of a belt or whatever, but sadly you cannot accessorise a car into cool. A Ford Fusion with a spoiler will merely look like a Ford Fusion with a spoiler that wishes it was still in Halfords.

Private plates are the worst crime. A 5 will never look like an S, and B16 B0Y will never spell Big Boy or be funny. The only useful accessory is dirt: not washing a Ferrari means you don’t care, which is a good signal to send out.

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Regarding the VW commercial-

I noticed the Dodge too, and I was wondering, since Chrysler is now a part of Daimler-Benz, and VW is reportedly working with them on a new small car, does VW consider Chrysler to be German somehow?

And how would Chryslers have snob appeal yet? Sure a Viper is an "exotic", but, somehow I don't feel that badge snobbery plays a part here for the Dodge like it would a BMW, or a Mercedes-Benz.

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Regarding the VW commercial-

I noticed the Dodge too, and I was wondering, since Chrysler is now a part of Daimler-Benz, and VW is reportedly working with them on a new small car, does VW consider Chrysler to be German somehow?

And how would Chryslers have snob appeal yet? Sure a Viper is an "exotic", but, somehow I don't feel that badge snobbery plays a part here for the Dodge like it would a BMW, or a Mercedes-Benz.

I saw the commercial again today...the first car in the picture is a 300C. Sure, it's got German bits in it, but it's still American...plus it's hardly got the snob effect. The guys at VeeDub don't know their "German" cars very well.

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Aww, ya' beat me to it!

That's what I came in for tongiht- I just saw the commercial (it's 12:30am) and noticed the 300C.

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I didn't get the impression that it was directed at "german" cars per say... just talking about the cars that have "look at me" type looks... and what that says about the driver.

VW is basically advertising that they have a bland sedan......

What's next... Toyota advertising you can have your Camry in any color you want as long as it's beige?

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VW is basically advertising that they have a bland sedan......

Yep. What they should've done is show how the VW brand has class.

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I believe VW was referencing German vehicles overall. That's the opinion the got from the ad because of "least ego emissions of any German vehicle".

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I believe VW was referencing German vehicles overall. That's the opinion the got from the ad because of "least ego emissions of any German vehicle".

Exactly, but they messed the whole thing up by thowing a 300C and a Viper...which are anything but German

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I saw a follow-up ad tonight where drivers kept merging left to see their reflections in the side of a building, while the Passat owners just comment on how crazy people are.

VW's ad guys really have been working overtime lately. They've released enough new commercials to last a couple years. Unfortunately, they decided to release them all over the course of a few months. Un-pimp my ride, ego emissions, bad stereotype jokes, it's all too much. I know it gets annoying to see the same commercials over and over and over again (especially problematic during playoff season) but have people's attention spans really gotten that short?

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I saw a follow-up ad tonight where drivers kept merging left to see their reflections in the side of a building, while the Passat owners just comment on how crazy people are. 

VW's ad guys really have been working overtime lately.  They've released enough new commercials to last a couple years.  Unfortunately, they decided to release them all over the course of a few months.  Un-pimp my ride, ego emissions, bad stereotype jokes, it's all too much.  I know it gets annoying to see the same commercials over and over and over again (especially problematic during playoff season) but have people's attention spans really gotten that short?

They got a new ad ageny, CP+B, so they're doing all they can. Brace yourself for the upcoming Rabbit ads.

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They should have quit while they were ahead.

Never in a million years will they top the "Unpimp My Ride" ads. :P

Oldsmoboi: They make Camrys in plenty

of colors... like beige, white, beige-silver,

silver-beige, gray, slate-gray... one time

I think I saw one that was green, that

was very unique. must have been a real

"rebel without a cause" driving it.

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I saw the one where the people are merging to the left too, very dumb. The money would be better spent showing off all the features of the Passat.

"Oh boy with this car I won't have a big ego and have to see my reflection like all those other cars, I should buy this one" :rolleyes:

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I wanted the VW driver to have a megaphone and yell "I spent extra for a German car that will break down more and cost more to repair than many other cars!"

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I wanted the VW driver to have a megaphone and yell "I spent extra for a German car that will break down more and cost more to repair than many other cars!"

Yes. To spend thousands more for a problematic car yet trump about how its so much better than anything else. Very egotistical. And ironic.

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Yes. To spend thousands more for a problematic car yet trump about how its so much better than anything else. Very egotistical. And ironic.

How do you know the new Passat is a problematic car?

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I saw the one where the people are merging to the left too, very dumb. The money would be better spent showing off all the features of the Passat.

"Oh boy with this car I won't have a big ego and have to see my reflection like all those other cars, I should buy this one" :rolleyes:

IONO... personally, I think it makes people talk, which is good. It's not like you see people in offices saying, "Hey, you know that new Passat has a cooled glovebox and hill start assist?" (Btw, they did try that for its original launch... it was the "101 not-so-standard features on the all-new Passat" one.)

Here's a really good article on the effect CP+B had on VW advertising: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/conte...21/b3985001.htm

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How do you know the new Passat is a problematic car?

Like Consumer Reports, 'based on the reliability of the outgoing model...' ;)

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Exactly, but they messed the whole thing up by thowing a 300C and a Viper...which are anything but German

How very right!

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Any car who's tail lights malfunction before the novelty of

the new design wears off just months after launch is

probably not the best built car.

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