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Cold Start: Nothing About This Feels Right

Cs Skodabeach

Maybe it’s the slightly out-of-register printing going on here, but there’s a very unsettling quality about this Škoda Octavia beach scene here. Maybe it’s how densely everyone is packed together? Maybe it’s the strange, forced pose of the woman in the car-matching-yellow swimsuit? Maybe it’s that oddly similar pair of dogs, their shared attention both laser-focused on something out of frame? Something that could be anything from a dangled salami to an approaching Czech sand-bear? Is it that strange inflatable mallard duck?

Maybe it’s just the idea that beach parking is no worry if you’re willing to just drive up to the very edge of the motherflapping water and just call it good enough?

Honestly, I bet it has more to do with the fact that today the entire staff is heading out to Los Angeles and I have to try and keep the illusion that everyone is here and everything is running just fine until I have to hit the airport this afternoon. So, you know, don’t give me too much shit about typos today, because it’s gonna be a rough one.

Hope your weekend is fantastic!

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26 Responses

  1. The subliminally-disconcerting element is in the background and casts a pall over the entire scene: some timid sailor-wannabe is trying to get his racing dinghy upwind without flying a jib. C’mon, Captain — you can’t point with only the mainsail!

    1. Man I kept thinking where is the duck? But that deflated wavy man (don’t know what they call those I flated balloons with flapping arms) is weird. Then I saw the goose shape in it. And I would suggest it’s a partially inflated toy for a toddler. What’s with the big green diaper on that kid though?

  2. It’s the duck. The long goose neck on a mallard’s body looks super weird. Also, why is the bill stuck open? Is it screaming for someone to put it out of its misery? The people who made that duck should have known better than to make a child’s flotation device look so unsettling.

  3. What’s disconcerting to me is that no one is looking at each other. The dogs are drooling over someone dangling snausages in an attempt to lure them away, mom is checking out the lifeguard, brother and sister refuse to make eye contact which leaves the notion of tossing the beach ball a no-go, and dad is contemplating how to get his Octavia off the beach without his annoying family making a mess of the interior (Should he make a run for it while everyone else is distracted? Yes. Yes he should.).

    1. You apparently have never been the photographer at a family event. Trying to get everyone plus animals looking at you at the same time is impossible. That’s why some are looking others aren’t. I think amateur photographer taking a picture at his own family event. Cheap for the company, the guy gets paid for taking his family to the beach, and the result is realistic garbage.

  4. Have fun in LA!!!!!!
    Well, East Coast girls are hip
    I really dig those styles they wear
    And the Southern girls, with the way they talk
    They knock me out when I’m down there
    The Midwest farmers’ daughters really make you feel all right
    And the Northern girls, with the way they kiss
    They keep their boyfriends warm at night
    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California girls
    The West Coast has the sunshine
    And the girls all get so tanned
    I dig a French bikini on Hawaiian island dolls
    By a palm tree in the sand
    I been all around this great big world
    And I seen all kinds of girls
    Yeah, but I couldn’t wait to get back in the States
    Back to the cutest girls in the world
    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California
    I wish they all could be California girls

    1. Back in the USSR. You don’t know how lucky your are, boys! Back in the USSR.
      Those Skoda cars really knock me out. They leave those Ladas behind.
      Mother Russia can scream and shout. But a Czech Skoda is what it’s all about.
      Back in the USSR. We took our satellites too far boys. Back in the USSR.
      Let me hear your Balalaikas ringing out. Take me to your daddy’s pond.
      The Ukraine girls really knock me out. Because those Moscow curs were wrong.
      Back in the USSR.

      1. Been to California the beaches are worse thsn east coast. The water is filled with medical waste. It has more sharks up and down the coast. Most of the California girls look like girls from everywhere else except leathery skin. The only thing better is getting a sunset instead of a sunrise.

  5. Considering that it’s really a painting, and one commissioned by a secondary brand at that, what we have here, is an artist simply trying to do too much. All in the name of ‘advertising’. It would be fine if the ‘bathing beauty’ weren’t there, and Dad was looking at his little girl, who is beckoning him to come into the water to throw the beachball with her and the boy. The dogs should be looking at each other. Maybe hiking a leg on the car’s rear wheel? I dunno about the dogs.

    But that inflatable mallard to the left, is merely a struggling artist, trying to get a small ‘abstract expressionism’ reference into his oeuvre, whilst being micromanaged by accountants and ad men.

    You have to feel for the poor schmuck.

  6. Here’s my take:

    Skoda’s advertising Vice President’s nephew is a struggling artist at some Prague institute of art and had painted this picture for this Senior Project. To help out the little buddy, Uncle Marek insisted that they use his beach seen in the latest sales pitch.

    So another poor Skoda automobile artist Luka has now been tasked with superimposing the Skoda Octavia onto this piece of crap painting using the same yellow color as the bikini to boot.

  7. WTF does “enjoyment from pleasant motoring” even mean?

    Also, is there someone lurking behind that rear window? Some peeping Tomáš back there, eye-humping the Czech pin-up girl, or perhaps plotting his Saw-like revenge on the two little brats who stole his beach ball when he went bathroom?

    1. It probably means “it’s the late ’50s, it’s Czechoslovakia behind the Iron Curtain, we don’t have any native English speakers on staff.”

  8. I see a lot to like in this ad. It’s reminiscent of the “street” photographers of the 1960s – 1990s (e.g., William Eggleston, Joel Meyerowitz, Garry Winogrand, Lee Friedlander, Vivian Maier, and others) whose photos at first seem like simple snapshots but actually are artfully composed and have a lot going on in them, some of it a bit weird. Here, the weirdness includes the inflatable duck, the two dogs, the car dipping its left-side tires into the surf, whatever’s going on in the water in the background, and the appearance that the woman if posing on four large sub sandwiches. I don’t know how much of this was intentional vs. ordinary awkwardness, but in either case, nice job.

  9. That car is going to wash out to sea, or at least get very stuck as the water washes the sand around the left wheels.

    Also, I think the perspective on every item in the image is *just* so slightly different from every other item on the page.

  10. Ah yes,the little known soviet/italian deal where fiat swapped surplus 500 upper stampings for steel.
    As we can see,soviet designers integrated them perfectly into their own designs …

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