We suppose it was inevitable that VW would offer an SUV - soon even Mini will have one, no doubt - and we suppose it was equally likely to get a bizarre name. If Philip Morris can refashion itself as Altria (what a perfect name for a dog food!) why not name an SUV after a Muslim, Berber-speaking Saharan tribe, using a particularly cumbersome variation on the spelling? But Arnold's launch campaign takes a reliably light tone with the Touareg. Indeed, as GCD Alan Pafenbach notes, "One of the tried-and-true Volkswagen techniques is to take the most challenging thing about a product and embrace it. People really appreciate your spunk and you leave the wiseguys with nothing to say. The name is unique, but new and unusual things are rapidly absorbed into the culture. Two years from now, 'Touareg' will be synonymous with 'a great SUV.' " That explains the spot in which people mispronounce the name, usually calling it a Toe Rag. This was preceded by a dirt-cheap reality TV-style teaser campaign, in which people are supposed to be auditioning in some basement room, sitting on folding chairs, making believe they're in a Touareg, using a paper plate for a steering wheel. There are also two spots, backed by similar print, that make fun of other VW models, which can't pull trailers or barrel through deep water, in contrast with the Toe Rag. Uh, Touareg.
Client: VW Agency: Arnold Worldwide CCO: Ron Lawner GCD: Alan Pafenbach ADs: Alan Pafenbach, Paul Renner, Kevin Dailor CWs: Dana Satterwhite, Tom Gillingham Agency Producer: Paul Shannon Director: Michael Haussman/HSI Editors: Jon Hopp/Jigsaw, Andre Betz/Bug Music: Elias Arts, Music for Picture