Since I always have an opinion about advertising, I said I would include such musings on this site. And so, what better place to start than with the this year’s campaign from Volkswagen.
On one hand, I think it’s super cute that they’ve incorporated a pop-culture concept into their corporate messaging. And, honestly, I think the campaign is done brilliantly. On the other hand, the way they’ve done it leads me to ask a variety of questions . . .
- When did “punch BUG” (a.k.a. “punch buggy”) become “punch DUB”? (February)
- Are they trying to change the term into something that can be an umbrella for all VWs — instead of just the Beetle? (Probably)
- If so, how do they think this is okay? (It’s all about the BUG for crying out loud! I mean, I like a Jetta as much as the next girl, but the game is about the cute, kinda weird, little car. “Punch Buggy RED – no punch backs!”)
- And, what’s the point? Broadening the public’s awareness of their other models? (Probably)
- Will it work? Will we just become conditioned to the new phrase and the new meaning so that future generations will all say “punch dub”? (Leaving the ancient folks born before 1995 to one day say “I remember when we used to say “punch buggy”? . . . “Man, Grampa, you’re old!”)
- Or, will we reject this attempt to take control over this grass-roots version of their company brand and messaging? (Power to the people! — Based on my extensive internet research, it looks like some “purists” say “yes” to this one and reject including other VW models in the punch buggy game rules.)
- And, lastly, could it be possible that somewhere else in the world, people actually use the term “punch dub,” and I’m just too American, or mid-western, or sheltered to know about it – and this is VW’s attempt at educating me? (My extensive internet research doesn’t show any indication of this.)
So, my vote is thumbs up on a creative and well executed idea, but thumbs down on messing with a fun and iconic reputation.