A creative type at Volkswagen of India's advertising firm thought it would be a smart idea to put small vibrating devices in the Times of India to simulate "excitement." Instead, Indians thought they were like vibrators and took to Twitter to make jokes about VW and sex (India, they're just like us!).
Rather than play along, a hulking misogynist nincompoop operating the company's Twitter stream apparently sent an overly defensive tweet singling out women saying they'd be "dumb to call it a vibrator" and that women can't "understand real driving experience."
The tiny Chinese buzzing device campaign inserted gently between the folds of newsprint was deemed a failure by the local press, and some of the tweets they collected about the campaign were hilarious:
I'm not sure anymore if VW stands for Volkswagen or "Vibration for Women".— Ripper (@Ace_Of_Pace) September 11, 2012
Did anyone's grandmother try to kill today's TOI with fire, thinking it was possessed?#volkswagen— That Goan Boy (@schmmuck) September 11, 2012
Marketing isn't always an effort to get people to like something, often you're just happy to get people talking. This is an early and important precept of Volkswagen's advertising.
A proper response would be something like "We're sorry if your grandma's thought the TOI was possessed, you should get possessed by the driving spirit" or "The buzzer in Today's TOI wasn't a vibrator, but new VWs will make you feel better."
Instead, someone on the official Volkswagen India account allegedly tweeted (since deleted) this:
Dumb on so many levels. First, not only women were making the joke. Second, it's just offensive. Three, don't imply women can't enjoy driving you chauvinist dickweed. Fourth, unless puns work differently in India there's no pun there. #puntintended, #punnotachieved
We've seen no comment yet from Volkswagen of India to explain or apologize for their comments, though we can imagine their response being something along the line of "you'd have to be a dumb woman to assume that wasn't funny… am I right? Fellas?"
Photo Credit: Shutterstock
(Hat tip to IceMan!)