Remember "what would you do for a Klondike Bar?" It was the first ad campaign I ever saw which featured people acting like brainless assholes in the service of some stupid tag line. I remember people clucking like chickens, flapping their arms up and down, and performing all kinds of brainless, pride-stripping stunts in order to "win" a 79-cent ice cream sandwich.
In more recent times, we've got people willing to squeal with delight at the smell of Maxwell House coffee ("Frrrreeeeeeesshhhhh!") and dance for the cameras to the tune of "Five Dollar Foot Longs."
And now, we have Punch Dub Days at your local Volkswagen Dealer. "What's this Punch Dub Days?" the prospective male customer asks the salesman when he notices the huge PUNCH DUB DAYS sign (oddly enough, the salesman has apparently gone through an entire pitch without even mentioning the ad campaign.)
"Oh, you know- when you see a Volkswagen, you punch the person next to you."
Oh God please, make it stop. It was called Slug Bug, and I vaguely remember playing it when I was about eight years old and the world seemed to be filled with little Volkswagen bugs. My parents had one, and my grandfather's became my first car. It was an innocent, stupid little game, which had nothing to do with selling today's Looks Like Every Other Car on the Road version of Volkswagen. But naturally, the ditz Please Die Tomorrow female companion of our Prospective Customer buys right in, looking around the show room and noticing that- I'll be darned!- it's full of Volkswagens!
"Red one!" she shouts, hitting her Soon To Be Ex Male Friend in the arm. "White One!" Another punch. "Blue One!" Another punch. Yes, it's very amusing, watching this deranged lunatic hitting her friend. (And I'm sure it would have been just as acceptable if it was the guy hitting the girl. Sure I am. Expect to see that commercial real soon.)
It finally ends with the male customer taking a break from rubbing his sore arm to hit the salesman. Oh, the hilarity.
Congratulations, Volkswagen. This vile "Hit someone when you see a Volkswagen" campaign actually manages to reach Cell Phone Commercial loathsomeness. Along with you, I hope this leads to a lot of mentally challenged doofuses hitting each other and yelling "Slug Bug." I hope the mayhem escalates, and weapons are ultimately involved.
Because gosh, think of the publicity!