Messages in advertising

Recently I came across some Volkswagen advertisements for the R32--I can make an educated guess as to which of them are for the '04 or '08 models, but I can't say for certain. Anywhoo, I amused myself by trying to puzzle out exactly what the ads were trying to say...

Beyond the obvious goal--promoting the R32's existence--it took me a few moments to decipher what VW was trying to say in the ad below:

Part of the difficulty, for me, was my initial reluctance to look too closely at the animal--my first impression (which hasn't changed) was that it's pretty darned ugly so why would I want to take a closer look? Anywhoo, I overcame my reluctance and quickly recognized the sheep fur. Ahhh... "Wolf in sheep's clothing" was my conclusion regarding what the ad was saying. Still, I've seen better looking and more recognizable wolves than that.

Here's one that I find more difficult to figure out:

Why is the bus so truncated? Is it a shout-out to the "small-car" category the R32 fits in? Or is the R32 supposed to overtake so fast that objects appear stumpy due to some pseudo-application of Einstein's Theory of Relativity? If so, shouldn't the bus appear longer, not shorter? Ugh. It's been too long since my last physics class.

Perhaps I'm just over-analyzing this and its only purpose is to be humorous. Sometimes a dream is just a dream, after all. I still think it's puzzling, though.

Anywhoo, if you're interested, you can find some more R32 ads I've uploaded by following this link.


  1. I guess the wolf is supposed to be "new" and "modern" and "high-tech" (kinda like the latest Terminator models).

    And I think the bus is like that because when you pass it, it will seem much shorter than it actually is....

    ...not as short as it would be in the STI, of course ;0)


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