Volkswagen has a history of Super Bowl ad excellence, but last night's "Wings" spot struck a sour note with many who were understandably bothered by this sausage fest of an execution.
The German brand tells us that their cars are now more reliable. As a previous owner of a late 90s always-broken Jetta, this focus to shift negative brand perception makes sense.
In the spot, the father excitedly points out the moment the odometer rolls over to 100,000, telling his daughter that every time a VW reaches this milestone, "a German engineer gets his wings." (emphasis: mine)
This implies that all German engineers are male. As the ad plays out, we see that all of the engineers shown are, in fact, guys - the one exception being a female engineer in the elevator whose ass is accidentally slapped by the freshly-erect wings of her male coworker.
Now, this isn't all VW's fault. The company does have very successful female engineers. But they're too busy kicking ass and taking names at the highest level on the race track to be bothered with silly wingy thingies.
Maybe instead of focusing on an amusing, cute gimmick for the Super Bowl, Volkswagen could focus more on celebrating the inspiring stories they already have within their company. During the biggest sporting event of the year, who wouldn't want to see fast-paced Le Mans ad celebrating dedication, courage and ground-breaking victory?