There are two advertising campaigns I have seen lately that deserve jamoke status. They are the new VW Passat campaign and any of the Quiznos stuff.

I hate the Quiznos spots. I think a talking baby selling sandwiches is about the dumbest idea ever. Granted, it is an improvement over the Quizno’s Rat spots…but still, it is schlocky, gimmicky, and short on original creative insight. Did these people not pay attention in their advertising classes? Sell the damn product and don’t try to be cute. A campaign/spot should elevate the brand, engage the consumer, inspire interest, and convince people to buy. A talking baby does none of that stuff.

And, since it was reported today that Quizno’s has hired a new agency, maybe someone shares my opinion. But, since some jamoke at Quizno’s had to have greenlighted that dumb talking baby idea in the first place, the new agency will probably develop something just as dorkish.

The VW Passat spot that has the young couple dance to music in their apartment, annoy the downstairs neighbor, and then go buy a house is an ok spot. I’m ok with it. It is cutesy and simple, but inoffensive. It doesn’t say anything about the product, though. It’s “a little bit grown up” doesn’t tell me much about a car. In fact, they are lucky I can even remember that it is a spot for the Passat…and not for some home mortgage company instead.

The one, however, that I really don’t like is a new one. It has a guy going through a border checkpoint with his Passat, in what is obviously a Hispanic area (CA, AZ, NM or TX???). The Hispanic Border Patrol Agents investigate the car thoroughly. They walk around it with the dogs. The owner of the car…an Anglo…sits idly by, looking unperturbed. So far, I’m only a little concerned. Then, in the spot, a Patrol Agent notices the silly little umbrella slot in the driver door and alerts the Head Guy to the suspicion. Next scene shows them disassembling the car. WHAT???

I “get” that the car has a lot of neat little features. Showing how these features will raise the suspicion of the drug sniffers is a REALLY BAD IDEA. And, why they thought showing the umbrella slot feature, when the car is obviously in the desert southwest, doesn’t make any freakin’ sense to me either. News flash – it doesn’t rain very often in a desert. But I digress… Is it reverse racism to show an Anglo getting his car searched by the Border Patrol? Is it a good idea to show ANYONE in that situation? (ah…ahem…ah…NO!) Is it wise to show the “little features” potentially used in such a negative way? Do they really think showing the car getting taken apart will inspire a consumer to go buy it? How is any of this going to elevate the brand or sell the product??? Maybe it was the jamokes that created the commercial that should have been searched. They were obviously smoking something. The spot is just dumb.

And, again, the agency that created that fine spot is out of a job soon. VW just handed their business to a different agency. Oh, right, the new agency is best known for having created the subservient chicken campaign for Burger King. Good heavens…I can’t wait to see their effort for the Passat. Gonna need the bong for sure.

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