Cat got your car?

big scary cat.. meow! hiss!Thanks to the generous donation from airdrop, I procured a copy of a new VW commercial from Europe. At first I was a little worried I’d be preempting some sort of American ad campaign, but then I watched it a number of times and am thoroughly convinced that it would never work here.

Here are some blaring Euroisms I found:

  • Check out the Euro stylings on the lanky guy.. the hair, the suit, the turtleneck
  • No one in the commercial utters a word. Can you say “entire European market?”
  • What old man in America drinks tea?
  • The cast of tiny people is ridiculously interracial.. how much of Europe do you think they cover?
  • The license plate screams of Eastern Hemisphere
  • Gullivers Travels? What kind of obvious reference is that? An American audience would respond much better to a VHS copy of Honey, I shrunk the kids.

Volkswagon Commercial: Tiny people vs. giant cat

10 thoughts on “Cat got your car?

  1. not to mention that the car in the commercial is a Polo, not a Golf, which is definitely not sold in the US. too small for good ole’ suv lovin’ ‘mericans. oh, and the girl is driving on the wrong side of the car. probably a britsh add.

  2. Reminds me of the Fiat Punto i rented in Malta. That little car has some balls. Getting used to shifting with your left hand and steering with your right hand is the hardest part. And roundabouts! Oy!

  3. It really reminded me of one of my favorite games of old, Micro Machines 2, where you race tiny cars like the one in the video around common household surfaces. I’m not sure exactly what it was about this game that made it work, but I played it incessantly until I had beat it. And, thanks to The Underdogs, anyone who wants to play it can download it at the link above 😉

  4. My roommates and I used to play the Playstation version of Micro Machines in college. It was one of the best video games ever for social situations, second only to a certain arcade adaptation. (Here, I’m loosely defining “social situation” as any gathering of inebriated slackers in my living room, so I played quite a bit of both games.)

  5. i like that the tabloidesque newspaper the car is swatted onto bears the headline “GIANT BUST”. could it be referring to the lovely images on page 3?

  6. I love the how you’ve conceptualised this ad as European, particularly when, in my opinion, it is ultimately a rather badly produced UK production, relying on clichéd movie metaphors, over a pseudo Mission Impossible soundtrack, that could well have a European market, on the left-hand side.

    The difference in cars & marketing is vast across the Atlantic, and fascinating in how differently the cultures define themselves. Ultimately, the car ad must be one of the finest forms of demographic marketing open to analysis.

    btw, I’ve been reading you for some time, and find what you write about engaging. Thanks!

  7. I am one of many people who love “giant and tiny people” (ads, books, movies, TV shows) and I absolutely loved this ad!
    The special effects of this 50 second spot are amazing.

    Some very tiny people (an inch or so) who seem to be spies or something are behind the books of an old man’s office. When he gets up to leave, they try to do their mission or something but are spotted by a cat–the cat gets to within a fraction of an inch of
    them and one guy, I think, gets eaten, or almost.

    A woman goes over to the side of the desk, almost falling off–she casts a nervous glance back, then jumps a great distance to another desk. The cat pursues her as she gets into the tiny car. (It’s Europe, so driver’s side on right!). The cat knocks the car down
    with its paw and it lands on the floor (ah, it nudges a copy of Gulliver’s Travels…) and “drives” across it, then leaps over some
    stairs to a lower floor.

    A man almost steps on the car. A glass
    smashes to the floor; she gets away but, as the old man picks up the cat and puts it on his shoulder, the cat casts a glance at the woman (who goes through a pet door to freedom) as if to say, “OK, you won
    the battle THIS time!”. The woman also casts a glance back as if to say, “yeah, right!”


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