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It's no secret that we humans have a habit of assigning gender to inanimate objects.  It's not just Americans either.  Several languages assign a gender to every noun.  Many cultures, including ours, just accept that all boats are female. 

Now cars are a little trickier. 

Your mom's old station wagon may have been called "ol' Bessie," while dad's truck went by "Hank."  My RAV4's name is Magda after the old lady in "Sex and the City" who had white hair.  (Okay, rambling now)  Anyhow, these gender associations happen to have a lot to do with your vehicle purchase, sometimes on a subconscious level. 

Now Volkswagen is trying to use our wacky habits to move some metal.

article source: [www.blogs.imaginepub.com]

The VW Beetle:  It's A Boy!  (Or, is it?)

Since I've started walking home from work, I've been forced to pay attention to the barrage of billboards that line offices, freeway overpasses, and even apartment buildings along Milwaukee Avenue on the near-West Side of Chicago.

But despite the ubiquity of billboards along my walk home, there was one in particular that stopped me in my tracks yesterday.  It was an image of an iconic car-the Volkswagen beetle-accompanied by three words: "It's a boy." I had seen these words before on blue cellophane balloons and baby shower invitations, but on a billboard? And since when do cars have genders? And then I wondered, if cars really did have genders, is this ad implying that everyone would want to drive a "boy" car?

In advertising and popular culture, the VW Beetle has been assigned various gender roles seemingly since it was first produced in 1938. Take, for example, the 1963 VW Beetle better known as Herbie in the 1968 Disney comedy, The Love Bug or the beetle known as Cruz Besouro in last year's Disney-Pixar sequel, Cars 2.

When Volkswagen introduced the "New Beetle" in 1998, it instantaneously became the star of pop singer Mandy Moore's debut music video, "Candy," which presented it as the vehicle of choice for teenage girls and hip young women everywhere. Each car even came with its own plastic vase and flower in the dashboard that corresponded with its exterior paint color. The New Beetle was marketed so successfully that about 60% of its sales were to women, said a Volkswagen spokesperson in a September 2011 Wall Street Journal blog.

But now, with the new "It's a boy" campaign, Volkswagen is attempting to broaden its appeal to male audiences. And so far, the campaign seems to be faring better than Dr. Pepper's similarly male-targeted "for men only" ad campaign, which brandindex.com reported has not significantly increased sales and has even driven some female consumers away.  (End of article)

One thing not mentioned here is how color affects these gender designations.  For instance, a new red 2012 VW Beetle is often compared to a ladybug, and therefore is perceived as feminine, even though there are male ladybugs as well.  It's no accident that the VW Beetle color used in the ad is black.   Very interesting, huh?

If you're ready to pick out your new VW Beetle baby, be it boy or girl, visit Checkered Flag Volkswagen, your Virginia Beach Volkswagen store on Virginia Beach Blvd. 

Categories: VW

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