Saturday, October 25, 2008

In which the blogger continues his campaign against Crispin Porter

Here at the Ad Wizards, we think most of the commercials we see on television could be a lot better. But then there's the work of one agency in particular that just makes our typin' fingers all red and itchy -- that would be the unwatchable oeuvre of Crispin Porter & Bogusky. Here we take a look at their latest effort to market the Volkswagen Routan:

Talking VW Beetle: Ahh, velcome Brooke Shields! Vat's on your mind?

Brooke Shields: Well, there's an epidemic sweeping the nation. Women everywhere are having babies just to get the new Volkswagen Routan.

The talking car isn't new -- they've used that in some recent work. Brooke Shields, however, is new. You know, it's hard to sell cars in a recession -- aren't we making it harder on the few consumers who do want to buy cars, by making them sift through peripheral weirdness like Beetles with German accents and B-Listers talking about some made-up, car-related baby boom?

Brooke Shields: Christine here is so seduced by German engineering, she's having a baby just to get it.

"And as soon as that baby is born, Christine is going to ship it off to an Engineering Boarding school in Hamburg, never to see her child again."

So I guess Crispin Porter's clever idea here is that "couples love the Routan minivan so much, they're going to get pregnant to justify buying one." That's such a bizarre, stupid idea, you have to wonder how they got there. Maybe they got an email from Volkswagen Marketing that looked like this:

Develop a new commercial for the Routan

Weird people out. Also, decrease sales of Routan by 50%

Pregnant couples, ages 25-40

German engineering is awesome. Everybody wants it. That's the number one thing people look for in automobiles -- "Was this made by Germans? Because the Japanese, Americans and Koreans all suck at making cars"

Talking car, German accent, random 3-piece band, use slogan that translates to "The Car"

Brooke Shields: Don't be like Christine -- have a baby for love, not for German engineering.

How is this funny? Or informational? Or memorable, even? Here's a test -- watch this ad twice, then come back to this site in 3 days and see if you remember the name of the car. I bet you won't. What you will remember? Brooke Shields annoying you.

Brooke Shields: Learn what I'm doing to help -- at

Hey, do you want to see about five more minutes of this same commercial? Then you should really check out

This car just launched -- a joint venture with Chrysler -- so no sales news yet. But with commercials like this one, you just have to wonder why companies continue to let Crispin Porter + Bogusky reshape their brands into creepy piles of shit.

SIDE NOTE: And by the way, here's an example of the way Volkswagen commercials used to be. Arnold Communications handled the account back then, before Crispin Porter could take a huge dump on it.

Anyone like this Pink Moon spot just a little bit more than the nonsensical zaniness of Brooke Shields railing against procreation?


Windier E. Megatons said...

I can honestly say that with all the VW/Brooke Shields ads I've seen at this point, I had no idea whatsoever that they were pitching a new model, much less its name. Granted, this could be because I keep curling into the fetal position every time one of these ads starts.

Anonymous said...

I've always liked CPB. Whopper Freakout was a nice idea. I love the Mini work. The early BK work. Method was awesome. Truth, awesomer. But yeah, seems like they've been pushing out a lot of turds in the last year or two.

But isn't that just advertising in general? I fucking love the Pink Moon spot. Still raises the hair on the back of my neck. That kind of stuff is why I got into advertising. But nowadays ads like that are way too rare.

Quivering P. Landmass said...

Yeah I mean it's not like every single ad Crispin Porter has created is terrible. The Mini campaign they did was clever. I've hated their BK work, however, ever since they introduced the King mascot.

But yeah -- Advertising in general sucking recently? No arguments there. I believe an agency somewhere can make an ad that's as good as the Pink Moon spot again -- and one that's as effective. And it'll happen as soon as they stop making hackneyed ads like CPB's, and find a way to move people instead. Using boorish humor and sloppy sex appeal isn't cutting it.

Anonymous said...

The Brooke Shields routan ads are terrible! I have yet to look at the car, I only see her saying totally stupid things!