Wednesday, September 29, 2010 By Aaron Brown
Perhaps you've seen the ad for the new 2011 Town and Country in which a skinny boy is being chased by larger boys across town, ostensibly as part of a race to see who can get home first?
What bugs me about this ad is that it was clearly touched up after what I presume was some bad audience tests and run nationwide anyway. The voiceover at the beginning is supposed to make it seem as though the ginger mob chasing this odd-looking child across town are just playing a fun game of "let's race," but that's not what the storyboards show. The boys are shadowy and imposing. This pursued child is scared at first and then relieved to find his mom's minivan parked down the street. This ad was designed to make it seem as though bullies were chasing this kid and that he was saved from a merciless pummeling by this mother's wise decision to purchase a 2011 Town and Country van with its unique automatic rear hatch opening function and back-up sensors. Because that's what it's all about. Protecting our increasingly strange and fragile children from the surrounding world.
And, you know what, I'm fine with that concept. But you've got to commit. None of this "oh, we're going to dub in some nonsense about how it's just a 'race' among 'friends' in the editing room so we don't get angry letters or Facebook comments." Tell us, Chrysler. Tell us your vans will protect our vulnerable children from a dangerous world. Promise us, Chrysler! PROMISE US! (weeping, weeping). No, instead you go half-ass. You've got to run through first base, Chrysler! Run it out!
A Toyota Sienna ad, on the other hand, promises mothers they can expect less stress and informs fathers that they will have more sex (and soon!) upon purchase of the vehicle. I'd say the American car industry has a ways to go. A ways indeed.