• May 1st 2006 at 6:59PM
  • 52
Those new Volkswagen television ads showing Jettas in realistic (and violent) crash scenarios appear to be working. VW reports that since the ads launched three weeks ago, requests for brochures at call centers and on the web are way up, and internet requests for price quotes have risen 59 percent.

Conventional wisdom would suggest that portraying the cars in a negative situation could create the wrong image for the Jetta in the minds of consumers, but so far car buyers seem to be taking the commercials as a safety wake-up call, and dealers are happy with the results.

Not wanting to push their luck too far, Volkswagen plans to rotate in a new ad theme in a couple of weeks. Meanwhile, the "Safe Happens" ads will continue to jolt TV viewers.

[Source: USA Today]




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 52 Comments
      • 9 Years Ago
      Blurger293 is on the right track. Anxiety is a thought pattern, fear is a specific feeling. Frontal lobe thoughts of anxiety can cause physical reactions, like fear symptoms. Fear, on the other hand, is usually a strong feeling with accompanying physical symptoms that precede the anxiety thought. It is believed that fear originates in the other parts of the brain (occipital, parietal, and temporal) and informs the frontal lobe, where logic and reasoning occur. A simpler way to say it all is that fear comes from cues outside the body and anxiety comes from thoughts inside the conscious mind.

      The VW commercials actually incite both fear and anxiety. The sound and sight of the crash moment provide sensory input, but the low intensity stimulation and the prevailing use of the frontal lobe in watching TV prevents a truly heightened fear response. The tranquil scenes preceding the crash and the human reaction (shocked looks and "Holy...") after the crash suddenly incite anxiety thoughts as the frontal lobe puts the pieces together into a logical cause-effect progression. In my opinion, the intensity of the stimulation in these commercials is too low to cause hypernormal stress in average people. Viewers who have had the kinds of accidents depicted may experience more stress than normal because of thoughts similar to the sensory input being pulled from memory and presented to the frontal lobe for consideration. It is possible that these viewers are more likely to appreciate the safety aspects of the car.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I like the comercails but I think they may be better off having the cars get hit or something, cause, well the comercial makes me think its an insult to vw drivers....

      They still are very good comercials
      • 9 Years Ago
      Wow. Just goes to show how opinions vary. From right to wrong. I particularly like the juxtaposition of the "frat boy" (RossL) and "women drivers" (Ted K)stereotypes. NotFooled, yes, $8000 will buy you more safety in a 9-3. $5000 will buy you more safety in a 9-2X. The Impreza seems to be the pick of the litter, and you get AWD for practically the same money. But technically, it's a small car, not midsize, so what's your point? VW/Audi have 5 silvers out of the 16 highest rated cars. Saab/Subaru have 4 golds, gotta give them the nod. And wow, the Ford Fusion failed dismally.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Was it a government test? WTF is in realistic and violent crash ?
      • 8 Years Ago
      In advertising you have a several choices to get the attention of the viewer. You can use shock, sexual imagery, involving music, humor, attempt to cater to intelligence, etc. No matter which avenue you take, generally half of the viewers won't like it in any event. So you want to to pull in those who like the ad, and make your sell. Here, VW uses shock to pull the viewer in, then follows up with quantitative data. The shock is particularly unnerving to us because of our dread of that car accident all us drives will statistically have... twice.

      Overall, a gripping spot.
      • 9 Years Ago
      These are great ads without a doubt and have made me take a look at VW's. I still wouldn't buy one, but they got me to look!

      I have to admit that I like the ones with the hip-hop sounding German engineer too. Me and my daughter get a kick out of those ones.
      • 9 Years Ago
      The accident with the truck backing out of the driveway was a relatively minor one. Assuming the driver was in a residential area and going (let's be realistic here) about 30 mph, the damage would have been far worse. Even so, an unremarkable commercial in my opinion.

      The intersection T-Bone was a more interesting commercial. T-bones are often fatal accidents, and that commercial really showed the tremendous force of the impact. I was impressed that the cabin was not more intruded-upon than it was. I remember seeing the results of a t-bone accident where the car that sustained the side damage was literally wrapped around the front of the truck that had hit it, and the grille of the truck was 3/4 of the way across the breadth of the car.

      In both commercials, the drivers were not paying attention to the road. In the t-bone ad, the driver didn't even look peripherally to the right and left before entering the intersection. This is bad driving, and if anything about the commercials sends a bad message, it's that.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You've all read me rant on how bad the VW reliability and service is-but I will say one think positive for my ex-2000 Bug-it was DAMN safe...

      When I hit a 2000 Dodge Intrepid in the rear passenger wheel and quarter, the VW sustained $3,000 damage-the Intrepid-$8,000.

      I can tell you that I felt very safe in the Bug and saw how it handled a terrible situation. I would trust VW in a crash over most other makes-but I just won't ever drive or buy one again...

      The ads are spectacular and break 2 rules-which is why they work (showing a negative aspect of your product, and showing your product in less than perfect light-the damaged still of the Jetta at the ad's end).
      • 9 Years Ago
      A VW Rabbit is starting to look good to me. Or is it just the $15k pricetag? No, wait, the Rabbit has good crash results, standard ABS, standard side torso airbags, and standard side curtain airbags, plus a 150 hp engine with 170 lb-ft of torque. And 30 mpg. Now THAT's an economy car for drivers.

      (I can live with manual mirrors and windows, that's what I had on my 2001 Golf GL.)
      • 9 Years Ago
      i bet the guys at volvo are cursing themselves for not coming up with this ad campaign
      • 9 Years Ago
      The new Jetta commercials are funny as hell, I mean aside from the wrecking part. Thank God I've never been in a car accident but the matter is serious. As the viewer you always see the accident but you don't see the tickets issued to those who cause the accident. These citations can be extremely costly. If you have recently been ticketed in an accident, you can take defensive driving online to eliminate the citation from your record. The following site http://www.defensive-drivingonline.com/ in my opinion is the easiest, quickest defensive driving course online you can take.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Good shock value ad for VW--is this the new Farfergnugen?

      Even Volvo must now share its safety claims with just about all other car companies now that airbags are standard on most cars and optional on the rest.

      Better to buy a Honda or Toyota if you want a safe car with a better current reputaion than anything from VW.

      VW ads have long been clever but even the best advertising can't undo the damage done by a lousy service record and cars that have been overpriced beyond their value.
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