Saturday, April 10, 2010

Can "Punch Dub Days" PLEASE be over now?

Enough already. I mean it. Enough of watching drooling passive-aggressive mouth-breathers looking for excuses to punch people in the arm. Enough of these same passive-aggressive morons thinking that there's something clever about buying in to the latest corporate ad campaign (you know it's the same crowd of people who, when Punch Dub Days are finally concluded, will go right back to singing "Five Dollar Foot Longs" for the Subway cameras and "Freeeeesssssshhhh" for the good people at Maxwell House.

Which "Punch Dub Days" commercial finally drove me over the edge (no pun intended?) This one for the Volkswagen Tiguan, which features a shiny black VW roaring through an urban center at roughly 80 mph, leaving clouds of dust and people punching each other in it's wake. People punching each other HARD- a woman slamming her fist into her friend's shoulder gets an "ouch!" before the requisite "Where?", for example. The damn car is moving so freaking fast, that the "punchline" (sorry) is that while one person announces "black one!" and hits his friend in the shoulder, the other person can only respond "where?"- because the car is long gone.

One person in this commercial is piling boxes onto a truck, and is almost knocked off balance by his asshole "friend" who feels compelled to punch him in the arm and announce "black one!" The box-carrier is not in the least bit annoyed, of course. He just wants to know "where?"

Meanwhile, the black VW Tiguan continues to blast it's way through what are almost certainly 25-mph zones when the roads are not closed and a Professional Driver is not at the wheel. Don't try to cross the street in this town- or a sharp punch to the shoulder and "black one!" might be the last thing you feel and hear before becoming a wet spot in this car's grille.

Here's the big problem, Volkswagen: When "Slug Bug" was a cute, inoffensive driving game back in the 70s, it worked because Volkswagens didn't look like every other freaking car on the road. Volkswagen Bugs were different. The were unique. They had their own look- they were the anti-car, the car that gave the middle finger to the idea of cars as status symbols. Driving a Volkswagen was a way of announcing to the world "I'm not buying in. I want to get from Point A to Point B, and I don't give a shit about showing well for the neighbors while I do it." My first two cars were Volkswagen Bugs. I froze in the winter, melted in the summer, and hoped I wouldn't get into an accident, because they didn't have seatbelts. But I never had any problem finding my car in a crowded parking lot, because my car didn't look like all the others.

There's nothing unique about the 21st century version of Volkswagens. They don't look markedly different from Hondas, Toyotas, or Hyundais. Creating a car that looked like All The Other Cars on the Road was your decision, not ours.

So stop trying to recapture the past, ok?

And please, take my word for it- except for the people you paid to be mentally deficient stooges in your commercials, nobody wants to play "Punch Dub." It's really not fun to be punched in the arm by an idiot when one of your SameMobiles drives by, and getting punched doesn't inspire people to buy one. Go figure.

And please- go out and find a new ad campaign. Now.


  1. I hate these ads, too! It's punch buggy, not "punch dub"! My husband and I have very strict "punch buggy" rules--the car has to be an original VW bug (the new Beatles are fake punch buggies, as far as we're concerned, and do not count). And our "punch" is soft and symbolic--not slugging to cause pain. VW trying to expand the game to all VWs ("dub"? Really?) is lame.

  2. Exactly. The people in these ads aren't playfully patting each other- they are hitting each other HARD. My response to getting slugged like that would be to get very upset, not bleat "where?" I'd be more likely to yell "what the fuck is your problem, asshole?" I'd also make sure I spent a lot less time with this idiot in the future.

    And one of the pair is working on a power line- yeah, that's a good time to punch somebody hard in the arm. These ad men are just clueless.

  3. I remember the fake ad that Mad Magazine did for the original Beetle: "If Teddy Kennedy had driven a Volkswagen at Chappaquiddick, he'd be President right now." I'd rather see THAT on my TV than this celebration of idiocy. You'd think they were selling Smirnoff's or something.

  4. I have been looking for this blog thank you for it. I remember playing punch bug (Got 5 brothers "ouch" but it meant something fun on trips but for goodness sake it was only VW beetles hence the bug. I think its very degradeing on an american tradition. (I dont think they did this in germany)I wonder what moron came up with this dub crap. someone ought to give him a punch dub in the nose.

  5. This commercial is wrong at so many levels! As April says, it's Punch BUGGY, but that aside, does today's TV viewer even care about volkswagon one way or the other???

  6. I said "owww" not ouch...if we're being honest here...