The stress begins to disappear, another workday has come and gone, and thoughts of peaceful paradise refuse to leave your mind. It’s vacation time. Where will you go and what will you do? But most importantly, how will you get there? German Engineering may have your ideal answer. The Volkswagen automobile industry has been creating smiles and satisfaction ever since the early 1930’s. This Jetta advertisement represents an incredible sense of creativity, persuasion and a clever sales pitch to show why this particular model can help even busy mom’s escape the frustrating boredom many people feel during vacation car rides.
Volkswagen has always had a creative way of showing off their iconic cars and brand. Between the VW beetle and the VW’s most historical famous automobile, the hippy bus, their fun models give way to several opportunities for fun and smart advertising. In this ad for the Volkswagens Jetta, a display of chaos and relaxation has made for an excellent message.
The company is trying to relate towards a family oriented audience. Although tedious drives can be a pain to all people, this ad focuses closely on the child-parent point of view of traveling. This is most likely because there are two children in the back who seem to be in their playful, rambunctious stage of childhood and a driver who is probably the mother of the two youngins’.
Warm weather seems to be in season due to the sky’s clear, light blue hues and hints of sunshine that beams through the car windows. Not only does the exterior weather show signs of summer or springtime, but other details depict this as well. The mother is wearing oversized sunglasses shielding her eyes from the harsh sunny rays. Air seems to be flowing from the vents due to the rippling of the net, which most likely is of colder temperature because of the little girl’s outfit choice.
Often, most families travel according to the school calendar. Because this appears to be a beach road trip, we can imagine the kids are off for spring break or summer vacation, also hinting that the weather is beautiful. Color plays a predominant role within this advertisement. Instead of serious, dark colors, the picture is painted with bright, cheery tones that helps portray the fun, positive message the creators aimed to demonstrate. There’s a lightness that drapes over the whole photo, giving every color a soft, but welcoming feel.
The little girl wears a cute, striped multi-colored one piece. The combination of her darker skin tone so closely to the vibrant shades, truly makes the suit pop. Worn by the little boy is a red, fin shaped cap, covering most of his dark hair. In the car door pocket, a colorful magazine is shown a long with fun colors of yellows and purples of the beach accessories such as the pale, shovel, net and goggles.
Smaller details like the popsicle and moms sun glasses are colored with light shades, representing relaxation or peace. Though the majority of the car is colored with neutral sand tones, it helps hide the cars interior details like seat seams, seatbelts, door handles and safety locks. This way, the ad has a heavier emphasis on a tropical scene rather than a car setting. To tie it all together, the picture is thinly outlined in black, causing the imagery to better standout.
In the bottom right hand corner, “Getting there is just as fun” is printed as the advertisements slogan to help the audience get a better idea of Volkswagens main message. Several of the elements photograph reinforce this overall point. For starters, the two children are not wearing their seatbelts. In a normal car setting, the children should be tightly buckled and safely strapped. Because they are untamed and moving about the back seat, this shows us an unethical side of the ad. The little girl is even on her knees with all toes digging into the sand to maintain her balance. The boy appears to be dug deep with only his feet and neck extending from the soft surface.
With smiles on both their faces, this is the first cue that “fun” is being had. Not only are the children enjoying themselves but the mother seems to be as well. Her slouched position and tilted head exhibit relaxation or even sleep, which reveals her idea of “fun”, another commonality most mothers of small children can identify with. Although ethos is negatively used, the images of small happy children and a symbolic setting commonly associated with leisure and peace, exhibits the advertisements strong use of emotional appeal.
Messiness, or the perception of an untidy space also reflects a fun atmosphere. The sandy environment is rough and disheveled. Instead of being neatly smoothed as if the tide had just washed upon shore, the interior of the cars floor and seats appear tousled. The toys are knocked every which way causing the result of a broken, knocked down miniature sand castle, adding to the sloppy ground.
The females are wearing hairstyles with loose waves and kinky curls. At first glimpse, the little girls hair stands out greatly. Typically within our culture, we associate big hair with comical, fun or informal situations. Her large, wild, swirly afro shows us her carefree attitude as well as the moms non existent motivation to fix her child’s hair neatly. Mom is sporting the “beachy waves” look, which goes perfectly with the ads theme. Even though the boy’s hair is disguised, his animal-like hat reveals his way of a fun hairstyle.
Typically the ideal car for long road trips and children’s own safety are larger sized models like SUVS or vans. Comfort and baggage can be considered reasons why four or two door model cars are avoided in these situations in our society. Although the Jetta falls directly under the forbidden category of friendly family travel model, the brand has done a fantastic job of persuading the audience otherwise.
The first noticeable detail pertaining to the perfect car for road tripping is the extension of the boy’s legs. Even though he is smaller, foot room does not appear to be an issue with this car. Reclining of the mothers seat also shows the roomy environment. Two people practically lying down in an automobile of this size, overall shows comfortable travel and the avoidance of cramped limbs and aches from sitting up right for too long.
There are also zero signs of luggage shown within the picture. Usually, depending on trunk size and roof rack, many people cram the car with extra vacation baggage in the back seat or on the front and back dashboards. Here, we only see the three people and few beach accessories, rather than overstuffed suitcases and totes cluttered in every which way. This may be the company’s strategy of further displaying a spacious size, but it also goes hand in hand with the ads main message of forgetting travel can be a burden.
Within the ad, there are a few indirect or hidden messages we also receive due to the theme of vacationing. Reaching the desired destination can be a long, agonizing process. One way we can perceive Volkswagens claim of “Getting there is just as fun” can be because of the short amount of time this model makes the trip feel. The shorter the time spent traveling, the more fun anyone can have. We also can infer that this Volkswagen may be notably fast because of road-trip timing.
This may steer people away who have children due to safety purposes, but it may also appeal to those who constantly here the question, “Are we there yet?” Besides self-boredom and impatient emotions, the cars efficiency is secretively shown. Gas mileage is always a concern of many car owners thanks to the outrageous fuel prices in today’s economy. The company may also be promoting the gas rates this model has, playing another role within the pains of vacationing.
As a whole, identifying the photograph with the iconic car company is displayed in a simple, sophisticated manner. The company’s symbol, slogan and caption are all displayed in a subtle yet, powerful way. In the bottom left hand corner sits a grey Volkswagen Jetta. Both the color choice and small image of the car portray the classy side of the model and brand, while the rest of the ad focuses on the playful, fun side.
Even though the slogan “Getting there is just as fun” is printed in small text in the bottom right, this displays the company’s strategic approach of using more imagery and imagination than explaining themselves through wording. It shows the audience Volkswagens effort of trying to identify with potential customers as well as trying not to take away from the advertisements main point.
Volkswagen created this ad using many indexical symbols typical families identify with when traveling for vacation as well as tools of persuasion. With a strong emphasis on appeals towards emotions, they also incorporated a logical technique. Their slogan suggests that even though you may be in the car traveling hours upon hours, it doesn’t have to be a miserable experience.
The company claims that purchasing one of their Jetta models can better your relationship when it comes to day one of vacationing. Whether this automobile truly makes for an enjoyable ride to your fun filled destination, the Volkswagen car company uses clever means and measures to capture the minds of so many worldwide, leading to another successful business sale.
Works CitedGwin, Peter. “Volkswagen.” Delegation of the Commission of the European Communities. February 1997. ABI/INFORM Complete. Web. 26 March 2014.
Volkswagen. Advertisement. AOTW. October 2009. Google Images. Web. 21 March 2014.
Not only has the company mastered creative advertising ways to compete with other auto brands, Volkswagen has now established the solution to the one obstacle we face on day one of vacationing; the frustrating journey of simply getting there.