Thursday, January 27, 2005

Fake outrage over a fake ad?

VW is threatening legal action over a fake ad. Jeff Jarvis offers an alternative approach: "...hold a contest to get people to create the best damned VW commercial anywhere and promise to spend big bucks to air it on, say, the Oscars."

I see the merits, but it could never happen. The fake ad IS funny, but its political overtone presents problems for VW. Is it surprising that a German car manufacturer would want to distance itself from anything too suggestive of a suicide bomber targeting an Isreali street cafe? The moral outrage is an appropriate response from VW. Legal threats and hand-wringing discussions about brand equity, however, may not be helpful. And they bore me.

It's all an interesting contrast to this story about Budwieser, whose agency produced a spot spoofing Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction. After consulting Fox, Bud decided not to air the spot but they've posted it on their site with the tantalizing invitation to "watch the ad you won't see during the big game." (See. They can't even say "Super Bowl" because of offical sponsorship rules. I sometimes loathe my chosen profession.)

At Budwieser, they're just hoping for the kind of attention the fake Polo spot is getting.

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