homage to a better ad?

Us adgrunts loooooove ads. Us adgrunts know adhistory. Us adgrunts are sometimes waaay up our own butts with self referential ads. Yes, we're wankers.

I mean really kids, look at this. A wee bit too much of an in-joke you think? Maybe. Perhaps. A tad uninspired? Maybe. Perhaps. Or maybe it's just a homage to a better ad?

(read more to see a QT clip and double page spread..)

Snow plow

If you haven't seen the first film you are officially a hack, and I don't care who you are. ;-)
Way back in the days of Bernbach genius, this oh-so-incredibly famous Volkswagen commercial arrived. It kicked butt. It was different. It was one of the many Volkswagen pearls to come from Bernbach's bunch.

Theoretically, it is a poster, not a film, (the tagline spelling out the whole idea would have worked just as well in printed format.) but these were naive young days so we'll let them get away with that.

This commercial was voted one of the best ever made by a bunch of know-it alls. It's on "100 Best TV Commercials : And Why They worked", its in every ad book you can think of. Including Luke Sullivans book "hey whipple squeeze this.." (from which you can read a little in Adands book section) . It is also known as "Volkwagens legendary 1963 effort". Seriously, search on that phrase on the web and you might just catch something.

Ok, so you get the fame of this ad? Course you do, all adgrunts do, Normal people, however, have better things to do with their lives, I hear.

And then, there was Mercedes.
This thing won awards! ? Naah, but close! I'm shocked too! Who "judged" that award? (and what was their judgement impaired by?)
Us adgrunts should know the volkswagen ad (and those who don't should go do some research or I'll flog you!). We can see the joke in this self referential ad. We get it.

But how many (potential) Mercedes drivers are that immersed in advertising history?

Don't you guys know that accountmen drive porsches?

What is wrong with you? (and hey - just because the Martin agency keeps ending up in badland dont mean they are bad - it means they are famous and make lots of stuff - no friggin' hate mail about that thanks. Though, by pushing the comment button down thare you can share your ideas and opinions about these ads with the world. Do that!.).

I don't get it. I thought ads were supposed to sell stuff to new clients. Not preach to the converted. Wow, just goes to show how little I know, ey? And converted adgeeks at that. Not Mercedes geeks.

...and someone at the computer next to me just commented - "Hey, the guys who owns the snowplow company wouldn't be up driving before the snowplowmen had done their route anyway".

Ah, the innocence of real life logic. There is no place for that in Adland as we all know.

spotted in: single ad category in the 1996 One Show. It was not a winner, but honored.

Art Director: Mark Fuller
Writer: Joe Nagy
Client: Mercedes-Benz of North America
The Martin Agency/Richmond

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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anonymous's picture

Could be that this ad was only designed with award shows in mind. Somehow flogged to the client, who maybe remembered the old VW ad, and presto! .. out into the world it went.

Dabitch's picture

Thats possible. It's also possible it only ran in some kind of Marketing/Trade newspaper section or something like that.....