Down with Awful Copywriting – Example 3

Weeks ago, I saw a full page ad, in English, for the new VW Passat: run-of-the-mill looking car in an empty street of a nameless, gold-colored foreign city. Okay. I can live with that. Boring, unimaginative, but not offensive.

The title-slogan says:
The new Passat.
It gets into you.

What on earth got into them? What did they mean by that?

Google to the rescue. Seems there's this clip, the brainchild of one of Israel's largest advertising agencies, that's presented as an example of Israeli advertising at its best.

I watched the clip. I've seen better, I've seen worse.
But the telltale error of their ways is revealed at the tail end.

The voiceover says: The new VW Passat. It gets into you.
And the Hebrew subtitles read (I transliterate): hee mashpi'ah aleicha.
Which means, gentlemen, it gets to you.
Vive la difference.

And this, dear readers, is a true representative sample of Israeli car advertising at its typical blundering "best".

BTW: This ad's rating on the above-mentioned site is 8.8/10, gained through a very generous 19 votes. I wonder how many of the voters were native English speakers. (I bet none were finicky editors or QA people.)

The clip also appears on YouTube, but without the Hebrew subtitles which give it away.


Post a Comment