The Cult of Cars, Racing and Everything That Moves You.
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Why Aren't Car Makers Using Dead Baby Animals In Their Ads Anymore?

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An awful lot has changed in car advertising over the years, but perhaps most overlooked change is that car companies now seem to shy away from featuring carcasses of young dead animals in their ads. That's a shame, right? Wouldn't a couple of dead skunk kits really jazz up the hood of a Chevy Spark?

The ad up there is from a 1969 VW catalog, one where they're introducing their new off-road, multi-use utility/fun vehicle, the Type 181, or, as we knew it in the US, the Thing.


I get they're trying to show how outdoorsy it is. I get that people hunt, and, sure, you could use a Type 181 on a hunting trip, why not? Here's what I don't get: why did they use what looks like a tiny, Bambi-esque baby deer?

Maybe they were trying to make the 181 look bigger by using a tiny deer, and hoping we just wouldn't, you know, look at anything else in the picture? Like that dog in the backseat that clearly outweighs that fawn? And what the hell is with all that greenery and garnish around that little deer? Is that a salad? Are they about to just dig into it right there on the hood? Do we get to watch that, too? A bunch of middle aged German guys devoting a raw baby deer? Because that shit sells cars.


This whole image kind of creeps me out. There's something weird and ritualistic about that garland'd deer on that hood. I'm not so sure I want to see what happens next.