Is it just me? I mean, I realize it's been 65 years since the end of WWII, but the headline for this ad for Bosch in today's New York Times made me recall the photographs of bodies stacked outside the crematoria. It just creeped me out.
Now I realize that the copywriter who wrote this, and all the executives involved are probably under the age of 35. And I know I work in an industry with people like Jerry Della Femina, whose book "From Those Wonderful Folks Who Gave You Pearl Harbor" I devoured in the 70s when I was working at Ted Bates. When I watched the episode on Mad Men this last season where Roger Sterling was enraged by the agency pitching a Japanese car company I recalled my next door neighbor when I was a child in the early 60s who went batshit crazy angry when an Asian family moved in down the street because his son died in the Pacific (no matter that the new neighbors weren't Japanese, all Asians were suspect to him). I don't want to think of myself in any way like these guys.
But this headline just stopped me. And not in a good way.
But to critique it from another POV for a moment: if the agency thinks that the people who drive a Mercedes is the target for this ad, it works, since a Mercedes is quiet. But I would imagine that there are just as many BMW owners who read the Times. And a BMW is not a quiet machine — part of the satisfaction of a BMW to its owner is the sound of the engine.
Sorry, this ad just doesn't rise to the level of David Ogilvy's famous line: "At 60 miles an hour the loudest noise in this new Rolls-Royce comes from the electric clock." And personally, it leaves me with a sinking feeling.