As an ad executive I constantly feel guilty about poor work over which I have little creative control, so it’s really gratifying to be able to laugh at poor work over which I have literally no creative control. Like the new Vauxhall OnStar ad.
We open on a poorly-dubbed member of the Hitler Youth saying ‘Cool car!’ while his lips spasm wildly in any direction other than one which would effectively form the words ‘cool car’.
What Vauxhall clearly want us to think of as Sad Shit Dad enters.
Look at that arsehat.
This character has two syllables of dialogue but the delivery of the second is so bonkers it can only be fully appreciated in the following loop I made:https://youtu.be/07jHX-QHe1s
Hitler Youth proceeds to drill Sad Shit Dad with the most boring questions any child has ever asked. Not for this lad ‘Why is the sky blue?’ or ‘What will I be when I grow up?’ No, he’s more interested in his adult neighbour’s automatic crash response capabilities.
Mid Life Crisis shows up and a $uper k00l generic library track kicks in to helpfully tell us this guy is the best and we want to be him (and not Sad Shit Dad who is sad and shit and wears a suit because he's a DICK). The little boy just disappears because children are irrelevant now. All that matters is distressed leather jackets, red cars and quiffs.
A voiceover interrupts the world's most uninspired pissing contest to describe the Sexy But Functional features of your Sexy But Functional family car, which include:
Outer space lasers
This fruity lady
Now, I know that when it comes to advertising cars sometimes the narrative is secondary to just making everything look super sexy, but Vauxhall don’t even do that. In fact it seems that they spent so long trying to find the owner of earth's pointiest face to cast in the role of the little boy, they forgot what the human world looks like altogether, because everything in this ad apart from Mid Life Crisis who is just hairy, looks unnaturally sterile. It’s like they opted not to hire anyone to think about the set or styling following the rationale that ‘there’s always beige’.
But at least Vauxhall is doing men the service of letting them enjoy the unsubtle pressures that advertising usually reserves for women. A while ago I saw a hair dye ad whose message was basically ‘Dye your hair if you don’t want your husband to leave you, you saggy old bitch’. Well, this isn’t quite as bad but it’s not far off, the message being ‘Unless you buy this car your son and therefore all young people will think you’re a sad haggard twat who doesn’t have automatic crash response (isn’t that just an airbag by the way?)’
At the end of the day I’m actually just impressed that they managed to cram so much accidental hilarity into 30 seconds when they’re already trying to convey about 12 different messages, the result being that you can’t really remember anything apart from the sound of Sad Shit Dad saying ‘Err no’ which will echo in your head forever until your death. You’re welcome.
All stills and clips featured are the property of Vauxhall and I'm only kidding about Hitler