Dieselgate continues to create challenges for Volkswagen. The latest is an ad campaign paid for by Volkswagen, but featuring a Chevrolet Bolt EV. It’s all a part of the company’s settlement in the U.S. that required it to spend $2 billion on the promotion of electric vehicles.
The ad is for Volkswagen’s Electrify America, so they’re sort of promoting themselves, but it doesn’t feature a Volkswagen front and center. That’s also a part of the settlement, which doesn’t let them use the ads to directly promote its own vehicles. The ads have to be more of a public outreach effort for EVs than a Volkswagen promotional tool.
It’s actually a fairly clever ad, too. It starts off showing someone driving a gas-powered car with a bumper sticker that says “Planet Hugger” right above an exhaust spewing fumes. The guy looks quite happy driving along while “The Flintstones” theme plays until he arrives at a stoplight and along comes what is clearly a Chevrolet Bolt EV.
Cue “The Jetsons” theme, because this EV is a slice of the future unlike the old-school gas car driven by our planet-hugging friend. At the wheel is a snazzier version of the original driver along with his dog, which looks quite sad as he gazes out the window at the gas-guzzling monstrosity from the past. If those sad puppy eyes don’t make you want to go out and buy an EV, then what will?
As the Chevrolet Bolt EV drives away with its happy driver, the other guy is left behind, a relic of times past despite his best intentions. As the Bolt EV cruises along we see a woman charging her EV and a small fleet of various EVs driving off into the sunset. They do manage to squeeze a Volkswagen e-Golf into that final shot along with a Honda Clarity, Nissan Leaf, BMW i3, and Hyundai Ioniq.
The end of the ad sends viewers to plugintothepresent.com where they can learn more about electric vehicles including costs and available incentives. Expect to see more ads from Volkswagen promoting electric vehicles, but not necessarily their own, as the campaign continues.