I’m on to you, minivan advertisement

We’ve got a 2006 Chrysler Town and Country minivan. What’s funny about the Town and Country is that you tell people you bought the Town and Country and they go, “Ohhh, niiiiice,” as though this signifies some kind of class distinction. But really it’s a Dodge Caravan with a slightly different interior. We like ours fine. Anyway, they’ve got these new Town and Country vans and they are for sale, which brings me to today’s topic.

Perhaps you’ve seen the ad for the new 2011 Town and Country in which a skinny boy is being chased by larger boys across town, ostensibly as part of a race to see who can get home first?

What bugs me about this ad is that it was clearly touched up after what I presume was some bad audience tests and run nationwide anyway. The voiceover at the beginning is supposed to make it seem as though the ginger mob chasing this odd-looking child across town are just playing a fun game of “let’s race,” but that’s not what the storyboards show. The boys are shadowy and imposing. This pursued child is scared at first and then relieved to find his mom’s minivan parked down the street. This ad was designed to make it seem as though bullies were chasing this kid and that he was saved from a merciless pummeling by this mother’s wise decision to purchase a 2011 Town and Country van with its unique automatic rear hatch opening function and back-up sensors. Because that’s what it’s all about. Protecting our increasingly strange and fragile children from the surrounding world.

And, you know what, I’m fine with that concept. But you’ve got to commit. None of this “oh, we’re going to dub in some nonsense about how it’s just a ‘race’ among ‘friends’ in the editing room so we don’t get angry letters or Facebook comments.” Tell us, Chrysler. Tell us your vans will protect our vulnerable children from a dangerous world. Promise us, Chrysler! PROMISE US! (weeping, weeping). No, instead you go half-ass. You’ve got to run through first base, Chrysler! Run it out!

A Toyota Sienna ad, on the other hand, promises mothers they can expect less stress and informs fathers that they will have more sex (and soon!) upon purchase of the vehicle. I’d say the American car industry has a ways to go. A ways indeed.


  1. I’ve always wanted a minivan I can watch “The OC” in.

  2. I’ve seen the ad you describe and picked up on the bullying aspect of it. Bad climate for that topic, I’d say, if there ever was a good one.

    Ohhhh, some years ago, I really coveted a mini-van. We did get one, for a really good deal. It lasted a long time and would have lasted longer, but I got T-boned, so to speak, while driving it. (Legally, my fault.) Got it fixed. Then my son had the exact same accident in the exact same spot. Now I know why the highway department does some strange things when straightening out some corners. Except that one, and it is a busy one on Hwy 53.

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