By on March 20, 2017

Volkswagen Car Sex Commercial Screenshot

Volkswagen USA released an advertisement on YouTube today entitled “Luv Bug,” and it uses the ever-popular growing family angle to appeal to the customer.

Click through to watch this interesting take on in-car entertainment, and see if you spot what’s wrong.

The minute-long spot depicts a couple who has trouble anticipating what happens as you add to the head count of your family. From New Beetle to Jetta, Tiguan, and then (to the point) the Atlas, more children mean you need more room. Apparently, extolling the virtues of having sex in various Volkswagen vehicles (but not the Atlas) was very important to the marketing team at Volkswagen.

The ad became a quick topic of discussion on TTAC’s internal Slack chat. Tim Cain didn’t like the lack of planning:

“I don’t like how they wait until the baby is approximately six months old to upsize. She should be pregnant. It’s when the baby is rear-facing that space is at a premium.”

“Wow, we don’t fit in the Beetle.” So they upgrade and don’t learn their lesson the next time. “Wow, we don’t fit in the Jetta.” So they upgrade and don’t learn their lesson the next time. “Wow, we don’t fit in the Tiguan.” So they upgrade. They’ll have nine kids and wonder why the Atlas isn’t working when they show up at Ford looking for a Transit.”

While Tim’s parental instincts kicked right in, your author was attuned to something a bit less practical, and a bit more OCD. Did you notice?

VW Luv Bug Ad

Just as the couple says goodbye to their New Beetle, replacing it with a new fourth-generation Jetta (sold from 1999-2005), it happens.

VW Luv Big Ad

When their new red Jetta pulls up in front of another fourth-generation inside the showroom, something is quite amiss in the right side of the shot. A sixth-generation Jetta awaits purchase as well. That model would not debut until several years later (in 2011), if the commercial’s timeline is to be believed.

Once alerted, Adam Tonge had an interesting hypothesis:

“Maybe they had Conan’s ‘In the Year 2000’ crystal ball, except it was set to 2010.”

Tim also suggested the dealer might have had some sort of advanced prototype sitting right in the showroom. There seem to be more questions than answers here, if one watches the commercial with an attentive eye.

Sex in the car, and products in showrooms years before they were available. What’s going on here?

[Image capture: VW USA/YouTube]

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62 Comments on “Volkswagen’s Car Sex Commercial is Unsettling in an Unusual Way...”

  • avatar

    And we wonder why so many VWs get ordered with the “pleather”?

    Aw, c’mon, guys, it’s a cute ad.

    (And for the record, I’d totally try out the back seat on my Jetta with my S.O…it’s YUUUUUUUUGE).

    • 0 avatar
      Corey Lewis

      It is disgusting and lacks in taste and dignity and continuity!

      • 0 avatar

        I agree with you – I didn’t think much of the first New Beetle either. And the Jettas of that era weren’t much on “continuity” after 75,000 miles or so.

        The ad, on the other hand, is cute, though.

      • 0 avatar

        “It is disgusting and lacks in taste and dignity and continuity!”

        Yep, fukcing, like pooping, has no place in polite advertising.

        • 0 avatar

          “It is disgusting and lacks in taste and dignity and continuity!”

          I remember when Harley Davidson went from 74 to 80 CI. The advertising was “put 6 more inches between your legs”.

          Oh and my all time favourite, “Dodge Durango Commercial – 7″ longer!”
          https:// tube. com/watch?v=8sHdbRJxZnY

      • 0 avatar

        Oh, lighten up, CL! If you’ve never made a car shake, I do feel for you. But the rest of us had a nice little chuckle at this one. The best car ads are about people, not cars (look at Subaru). VW remembers this sometimes, in its best ads. The theme of the ad is continuity, after all. The new Jetta hidden in the showroom is just an “easter egg” that rewards close viewing.

      • 0 avatar

        You must be fun at parties.

      • 0 avatar

        I agree , if you can’t sell a car without implying sex , then the car isn’t worth buying , it should sell itself by quality not by how many kids are conceived in it , I shouldn’t have to explain to my kids about sex till their old enough , and why are we promoting sex in cars anyway , on prime time , it’s still soft porn weaseling it’s ugliness into our kids lives , not cute , pathetic is what it is ! Let’s just put Volkswagen ad designers bedroom on prime time and see if they think that’s cute for their kids to watch , I say boycott Volkswagen

    • 0 avatar

      “And we wonder why so many VWs get ordered with the “pleather”?”

      My VW has cloth. Never stopped us, or had any negative consequences vs. fake leather.

  • avatar

    Ew, sex in a car!
    Only a person with some deep sexuality issues would be offended.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Love it, and she’s super cute.

    Q: “What’s going on here?”
    A: They’re car-poor, so they can’t afford a house to reproduce in.

  • avatar

    Agreed with Tim. The moment of clarity would be when the parents bring their new car seat home (which might be when she is at 6 weeks or 39 weeks depending on whether they are planners), try to test fit, and it doesn’t fit without the front passenger’s knees in the dash.

    We have one front-facing and one rear. The front-facing seat is on the passenger side so our impulsive toddler doesn’t open a door into traffic. C-Max is just big enough for me (5’10”) to drive in a comfortable position with the rear-facing seat touching the back of my seat.

  • avatar

    Brodie: Ladies and gentlemen, this tall drink of water headed my way is a pillar of the shopping community who informed me earlier today of a nefarious plan of his to screw my girlfriend in an extremely uncomfortable place.
    Gil Hicks: What… like the back of a Volkswagen?

  • avatar

    Is VW implying that babies can only be made via an heteronormative relationship? That’s a bold stance to take for a corporation in 2017!

  • avatar

    The issue about the Atlas being to small is easily fixed though: just re-introduce the nine-seater Caravelle to the US lineup. And until that’s too small, there’ll surely be a Crafter bus again.

    Cute ad, though. Might rub some prudes the wrong way, but that might work well for VW.

  • avatar

    Good reason never to buy a used car.

  • avatar

    I think this commercial is going a little too far. Alas, just about every commercial, TV show, movie, etc. includes sex as the main theme in some form of another.

    The messages in media are becoming less subtle at an alarming rate, and as a parent, you really don’t get to choose what your child can or cannot see, no matter how hard you try.

    Changing the subject, the Atlas could pass as a Ford.

    • 0 avatar

      Thanks for the prompt demonstration re my statement.

    • 0 avatar

      > and as a parent, you really don’t get to choose what your child can or cannot see, no matter how hard you try.

      So use this commercial as a teaching opportunity. Don’t pretend sex doesn’t exist for as long as possible.

      • 0 avatar

        @Drzhivago138 – EXACTLY. You can’t have total control over what they see, but you do have significant influence over how they interpret what they see.

    • 0 avatar

      “Alas, just about every commercial, TV show, movie, etc. includes sex as the main theme in some form of another.”

      Pretty much every human endeavor includes sex as the main theme in some form or another, so I’m not sure why this should come as a surprise.

  • avatar

    It is creative, to say the least…

    Where does it say that the cars were necessarily new? (I’m not going to over-think this commercial.)

  • avatar

    If they had originally bought a Smart car, none of this would have happened.

  • avatar

    I think the biggest issue I have with this is that the Beetle and Jetta are basically the same size. Granted there is no 5th seat in the Beetle, but I pity anyone they would try to stick between two car seats in the Jetta.

    Per Rear leg room +.5inches in the Jetta; Rear headroom +.2 inches in the Jetta; rear shoulder room +3 inches in the Jetta (and another seat). I would love to see the bath they took on trading their new beetle in early and how much baby supplies that could have purchased.

    • 0 avatar

      And besides the cargo space (which might be the deciding factor), how much bigger is a Tiguan than a Jetta?

      • 0 avatar

        Much bigger, vertically speaking. There’s more shoulder room and vastly more headroom. The Tiguan packages passengers upright, with a raised back seat that’s like a dining room chair. The rear doors are oddly narrow at the foot, though. The trunk space is smaller than a Jetta, but coverts to a vast, appliance-shaped space with the seats folded. It’s just a Golf, from the Big & Tall store.

  • avatar

    A little over a decade of VW ownership does f*ck you pretty hard.

  • avatar

    I saw two problems with that narrative:
    1. A New Beetle owner had sex.
    2. They appear to be insinuating that, sometime after boning in the Tiguan, the woman has given birth to a dog.

  • avatar

    Spay and neuter, people. Spay and neuter people.

    The powerful little comma!

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    You guys missed the big glaring error here:

    That Volkswagen, particularly in its Mk.4 days, would have alienated this family after the *first* VW they owned, in terms of unreliability and shoddy build quality. Their trajectory, accurately depicted, would have been more like Beetle -> INSERT ANY JAPANESE COMPACT HERE -> Pilot, Pathfinder or Highlander

    (Ignore the fact that I am a multiple-time VW buyer, currently eyeing that Arteon thing).

  • avatar

    Accuracy demands more flaking clearcoat on the Beetle, way less wheel cover on the Jetta, and the Tiguan needed a least a few running/marker lamps out before being traded in on that Ford Borrego Laredo.

  • avatar

    Could double as a condom ad. effing nightmare.

  • avatar

    Ugh…. i’m not sure i want a used car anymore….

  • avatar

    That looks like a condom commercial to me.

    Don’t use them? Then you get screaming hellspawn AND you’re stuck in a shitty generic silver square.

  • avatar

    Um…yeah. I’m guessing this commercial isn’t aimed to smart people, we do have an overpopulation problem in the world so this isn’t “cute” at all. It’s disgusting.

    • 0 avatar

      All this negative feedback! Maybe the story should go new baby, new car! How they get there is a movement through time or models. Cute commercial! Go VW!!

  • avatar
    Brett Woods

    Awe. I thought it was cute too. VW always have the best commercials. The writer of the headline is, for sure, an American. Europeans are used to depictions of human form and sexuality in media. Americans are not and can find it unsettling. Canada tends toward the American cultural norm. The permitted passionate interaction is conflict. You will be hard pressed to find anywhere outside of the muslim world, a society so sexually repressed as the American.

    A woman is threatened and roughed up, her hands are tied behind her back and she is forced to hold a glass on her head while a man points a gun at her face. American rating: PG all ages may enter. A woman contentedly washes her left armpit in the shower. American rating: R restricted to older audiences. (Movies: Skyfall/CloudAtlas)

    I would not be surprised if there were phone calls should this suggestive commercial run in America. The safe line has been perfectly walked by VW before. Two young men drive down the road. They do not look at each other, but they both nod their heads. The background music only repeats Da Da Da. According to a CBC radio editorial, this was a massive hit with, and widely revered by the homosexual community. That’s as sexy as you can get over here before squeam sets in.

    Of course the reality is that there is plenty of automotive… how would you say it? …pregnacious behavior.

  • avatar
    Jeff Semenak

    Same company, different model.

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