Tag Archives: Green Police

Representing your brand; do your research

One of the more popular urban legends is how the Chevrolet  Nova sold poorly in Spanish-speaking countries because “no va,” in Spanish, literally translates to “it does not go.” Despite whether or not this story is true, or really just a legend, the moral behind the story is still as relevant as ever. Poor representation of your brand will greatly affect your sales.

I was not as disappointed with the commercials during the 2010 Super Bowl as in previous years. I commented on the smart ones, chuckled at the funny ones, and made fun of the ones that just fell flat. However, one that I believe has poorly represented its brand was Audi.

When I watched the “green” Audi commercial the first time, I thought it to be a smart approach — tackling the eco-friendly automobile industry. However, it wasn’t until the following Monday where I was reminded that the “green police” was another name for Hitler’s Police during World War II. The Green police were at the heart of numerous deportations, ghetto-clearing operations, and massacres.

So I watched it again. And perhaps I am being too sensitive, but I found it incredibly distasteful. The way the police showed up at the store arresting the consumer on the counter for choosing a plastic bag, or taking someone out of their home for using the wrong kind of light bulbs – all while having a re-recorded version of Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” as “Green Police” playing in the background. Was it not hypocritical to be wasting water by pouring it out of bottles simply because they were plastic? It just reminded me of the cruelty of the Nazis simply because they were in positions of power.

To make it even worse, Audi is a German company, owned by Volkswagen. I realize that the point wasn’t to make light of the Holocaust or even to try and emulate Hitler’s Police of the 1940s, but there is a much better way to portray your new eco-friendly, “green” automobile. How Audi approved such a concept is beyond me, but their ad agency should have done their research and been more sensitive.

All brands should be perceptive as to how to represent their brand. And German brands like Audi and Volkswagen, should know better than to associate with the “Green Police”  65 years after World War II. This misrepresentation is as bad as telling Spanish-speaking people that your vehicle simply “no va.”

— Jonathan Ginburg, Account Executive

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Super Bowl XLIV: Top 10 Commercials

The usual suspects made their appearance in yesterday’s Super Bowl, and I’m not talking about Peyton Manning and Reggie Wayne.  There were the expected Budweiser and Bud Light Super Bowl spots, as well as a few spots from E*TRADE that could make anyone chuckle.  One thing seemed new, however.  There were a few good car spots, two of which ended up in my Super Bowl XLIV top 10.  To see some of these favorite spots, just click on the link.

Anyone who watches football on a weekly basis is used to seeing the typical Ford F-150, “look how much weight I can pull up a ramp” or “check out our great lease price on a Toyota Camry” spots.  However, this Super Bowl lineup was different for a few automobile makers.  KIA, Audi and Dodge took a right turn at Humorous and Light-Hearted, and may have broken the mold for automobile commercials.

KIA’s stuffed animals road trip was an instant classic, with a late reveal of the KIA Sorento only after the vehicle’s toy inhabitants had gotten a taste of life, road-tripping the country with a stop in Vegas.

Audi struck a chord with their Green Police clean diesel spot.  It was a very timely, cute spot that could draw a hush across any Super Bowl party.  The end button of the Green Police pulling over a cop for drinking out of a foam cup seals the deal and gives it a place in this year’s top 10.

And finally, while the Dodge and Volkswagen spots didn’t exactly make my top 10, they still made a departure from the standard car spot.  Dodge employed the stereotypical, “look what the guy has to do for his wife to let him have a Charger.” Stereotypical for a beer spot maybe, but not for an automobile spot, which is why I give Dodge credit.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen made me reminisce for a minute with their Punch Dub spot, ending nicely with a clever Stevie Wonder/Tracy Morgan cameo.

What did these four automobile spots have in common that made them stand out and receive a thumbs up?  They used humor and had a nice reveal.  I didn’t have to watch 30 seconds of smiling family driving through the city, desert or on a winding road by the sea.  Nice.  Maybe these four brands will pave the way for automobile companies down the road.

With that, my top 10 Super Bowl XLIV spots below.  Feel free to agree, disagree or send along your top 10.

10. E*TRADE – First Class

9. kgb – Sumo Bring it on fat man

8. CareerBuilder

7. E*TRADE – Milkaholic

6. Bud Light – Book Club

5. Audi – Green Police

4. Emerald’s Nuts/Pop Secrets – Trained Humans

3. Google – Parisian Love

2. Snickers – Betty White

1. KIA Sorento – Stuffed Animal Road Trip

— Gary Sayers, VP Account Director

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