Thanks go to Jan-Hinnerk for pointing out another example of German car makers using their new powers to do comparative advertising. It used to be forbidden here, but as you may already know from the story of Smart’s little battle with the new Mini, the car makers in particular enjoy a public spat in advertising.
This latest kindergarten ner-ner argument started (I thought) innocently. If you watch German TV you may recognise this snapshot from the Smart ad. They were trying to play up their “green” credentials by showing how much fuel other vehicles used in the past. Only the vehicles shown are typical for environmentalists. Basically it was mocking them and saying “but there’s no need for you to be so extreme in trying to help the earth”. Drive the Smart instead.
Unfortunately one of the vehicles featured was an old VW van and VW took offence to the example. They thought Smart were trying to attack the green credentials of the old van. Even though the example came after a dinghy, a truck and even a tractor – vehicles environmentalists use. Full stop.
But no, Volkswagen got upset. Shame really, as I hadn’t even thought about this being an attack. But thanks VW for pointing out that this makes your brand look bad. I don’t think Smart were having a go at you!
So of course VW had to take revenge. And then the battle started. VW pointed out that PER PERSON its petrol consumption is lower…
… concluding that the old camper van is also a much better place to have sex – although they don’t actually say that. They say that sex is better in the VW, a subtle but obviously important difference. Assuming the copywriter did this deliberately.
Smart, back over to you. They print the ad, adding their own comment:
“It’s not all about size. It’s also about technique.” (German play on words, technique=technology)
Seconds away… round 3!