Selling Jettas by the pound

Selling Jettas by the pound: I thought that VW had finally wised up and stopped running this, but it aired again recently.

Volkswagen has really been the “people’s car” since its inception in the 1930s. VW has allowed regular everyday people to enjoy the quality of German engineering/made cars without having to pay the higher price of the of German brands like Mercedes, BMW, or Audi.

Thus the VW value prop has been simple: good quality at a reasonable price equals good value.

Therefore I understand what they are trying to achieve with this ad: the young lady clearly likes high quality items such as her sirloin steaks; however she also doesn’t want to spend a lot of money to get her high end items, thus the 1/2″ thick sirloins (which any good butcher would not cut that thin!).

So keeping with this theme, she then asks how “fresh are the Jettas?” – seriously? When is the last time you went car shopping, and your only question about the car was how fresh it was?

If the low price was the only thing people were concerned about when car shopping, we would all be driving Yugos!

So why would VW reduce the brand image it has carefully crafting over the years to an item sold at the meat market?


Lucas! Time for your therapy session.

First let me say that I know that safety is important, and that certainly it is important to keep children safe; however why does Chevrolet think that using using the extreme helicopter parents, Ana and David obsessing over their apparently helpless son “Lucas” (or Tonito in the original ad that airs in the USA), is a good idea?

In the ad, poor Lucas can’t seem to do anything without his parents calling his name, and admonishing him for some “unsafe” act – seriously, can a 5 year old be expected to apply his own sunscreen? I expect to see a follow-up ad in 10 years where the parents are shouting: “Lucas! Time for your therapy session”.

I get what Chevy is trying to do – that safety obsessed parents will like the Chevy Cruze because it is a safe car with a 5 star safety rating; however this message is lost because Ana and David are simply so annoying.

BTW – the helicopter parenting-style is now passe, the latest buzzword is: resilience (



Canadian Club: “you’d need a weed wacker to find my nipples”, WTF?

Canadian Club brand whiskey (aka C.C.) is an iconic brand of whiskey dating back to 1858 (

C.C. conjures up images of high powered executives asking for Canadian Club in their exclusive private clubs (apparently the preferred drink of noted adman Don Draper) – definitely the type of image that your average  guy would like to project when he picks up a bottle at the local liquor store.

This is the image I had of C.C., that is until I saw this commercial on tv today:

The ad has the elements that I associated with C.C.: the mahogany walled, trophy-filled, room, the “Club Chairman” as the spokesperson, the allusion that drinking whiskey was tied to manhood, and manliness – all things that would make me think: “hey if I’m going to drink whiskey it will be Canadian Club”.

But then the Chairman ends the commercial with the line: “you’d need a weed wacker to find my nipples” – YUCK! Over 150 years of brand development gone in a single sentence.

Again I ask, what were these guys Nonthinking?

MiO – it changes Everything?

MiO – it changes Everything? Well I don’t know if it changes everything; however MiO water enhancer has changed how I drink water – I can’t drink water without MiO!

The problem with the Water Enhancer market is that water enhancers haven’t traditionally been marketed to men, and it really isn’t macho to pour a packet of Crystal Light into your water bottle.

So the folks at Kraft aren’t helping things with their “Changes” tv commercial.

Who do they think the target market is for MiO – bored office workers, top gun pilots, Thurston Howell III, 1970′s tennis players, tiny urban cowboys?

I realize that Kraft is trying to replicate the successful, non sequitur “Old Spice Effect” of the classic Isaiah Mustafa commercials (definite non nonthinking going on there, but more on this later), by having the two characters, and backgrounds changing from scene to scene (I get it, MiO changes everything); however these characters are, how best to describe them… weird.

So again, the emotional response to the ad is: “if I use Mio water enhancer, I am weird.”

This is really too bad because MiO is really good, and as stated earlier I can’t drink water without it (perhaps I should check the list of ingredients), and I must admit that I am strictly a closet MiO user because I am too embarrassed to use it publicly.

Therefore if MiO is being targeted to any group other than those appearing in the ad, then they need to create an ad that makes MiO, well, cool. Other products: beer, cars, shoes, phones, Apple, certainly have done this, so it is not like splitting the atom.

Again this is a good example of nonthinking.

Let me know what you think.

P.S. please note, I finally tried MiO in spite of this ad because I wanted to write this post.



Subaru Crosstrek: Fresh Air… Don’t Care?

Subaru Crosstrek: “Fresh Air… Don’t Care”? WTF? How can you not care about fresh air?

What is the message that Subaru is trying to get across with this ad, that country folks are weird, and city folks are jerks?

This doesn’t really convey anything about the vehicle – the only response I have to this ad is that this guy is a jerk, and therefore jerks drive this car, so I won’t be.

If you haven’t seen the ad, take a look below, and let me know if you think these guys were nonthinking.


Welcome to NonThinking

Welcome to NonThinking.

This site is dedicated to the things that make me think; “What were they thinking?”

I once read somewhere that the purpose of marketing is to invoke an emotional response; however, I would add to this that the purpose of SUCCESSFUL marketing is to invoke a POSITIVE emotional response.

Therefore as I go through each day, I make observations (previously to myself) about my response/reaction to the various media that I read/see/hear, and often my response is “what were they thinking? I guess I call this “NonThinking”, and thus the genesis of this site.

A lot of my observations deal with commercials, usually TV ads. Sometimes when watching these ads I think; how was this ad ever approved? I can’t believe that a group of executives sitting around the boardroom table all viewed the ad, and said “yes” this is the message we want to convey! These ads invoke an emotional response; however it often is not one that makes me want to go out and purchase or use the product being pitched.

Therefore I hope that you enjoy reading my observations, and take the time to do some non nonthinking yourself!