The 2012 New Beetle Could Have Looked Like This

2012 New Beetle rendering

2012 New Beetle

Instead, you will get the shoebox seen at right. What is the matter with Volkswagen these days? The new car is so ugly that it doesn’t even appear in VW’s Super Bowl commercial for it. We see a striped (real) beetle racing through the forest, but no car. It’s a good, clever, pointless ad; see it after the break.

The design for the yellow New Beetle above was created by David Cardoso and looks gorgeous with its stretched greenhouse. On the other hand, as we said last October, the actual new car resembles a “Porsche 356…styling exercise that Ferry Porsche scrapped.”

Another victim of the conservative design trend at VW, the new Passat has been homogenized and dumbed down in order to compete with the Camry and Accord. There is, of course, plenty of competition in that field already, and I just can’t see what the value proposition is with the Passat.

Once again, the company’s agency Deutsch LA (partnering with Lucasfilm) has created a sharp ad, this one featuring a junior Darth Vader using his force on the Passat in the driveway.

With the enormous audience expected for the Super Bowl, and the high-pressure creative competition in ads, we wonder whether the VW commercials, which have so little meat to them, will finally sell cars or move buyer preference.

Anyway, here are the beetles, with their buggy message about the new car.

Cute, eh? As we suggested back in October, if you don’t like the new cars, you can always buy recent used versions—and save a lot of money in the bargain. Check out DealFinder after the game.

Which of these two Volkswagen ads works better, do you think, the one for the Passat or the New Beetle?

—jgoods

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