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This Clever Volkswagen Ad Is Exactly as Long as the Time You Can Spend With It


If you don't have time to watch this whole new commercial for Volkswagen Trucks, you can just skip to the end for a quickie version—no matter where you are in the story—and it will still make sense.

Go here to check it out.

It's a merciful approach that all brands should probably mimic in all commercials, given this is the age of skip-happy Internet viewers. But Brazilian agency AlmapBBDO created the ad specifically to reinforce VW's claim that its rigs, like the ad, are themselves customizable. In that context, the video slider at the bottom of the website might be the best part—it takes the shape of a truck that just keeps getting longer and longer.

The story itself—spoilers ahead—is about a young truck driver who runs into an ex-girlfriend at a market. Told in a stilted monologue, it's a bit like a Mad Lib with a single punch line—structured into clauses so you can jump to the last scene at any point, by clicking a button in the lower right hand corner. But the last words are always "My grand-aunt."

That makes for some odd combinations, like "I satisfied my hunger eating… a taco made by… my grand-aunt." It also makes for some surprisingly dark outcomes for a big advertiser—like skipping the part about the taco and delving straight into ancestral cannibalism. There's at least one notable hidden variation—hit the button at certain times, and the grand-aunt is a goateed, shirtless young man, instead of a little old lady.

Overall, it's an intriguing approach, but maybe a little too eager to be inventive, with a takeaway that seems more about the copywriting team's ability to write a cascading script than about the product's benefits. It was nice for them to include an eject lever, but if the idea is to get the message in quickly, and extend the entertainment for those who want it—Geico's simpler approach takes the cake.

Plus, it has a better dog.


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