Home » Press Release Copy Sure Has Changed: Cold Start

Press Release Copy Sure Has Changed: Cold Start

Cs 62bug Photo
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I suppose, if you were in a very specific frame of mind, you could consider the ready and plentiful access to carmaker press releases as a perk of the job. Most press releases I get from carmakers are breathless, eager things, as crammed full of enthusiastic zeal as is legally allowed. If most press releases were people, and you were sat next to one at, say, a wedding, you’d be desperately trying to change seats or at least drink yourself into a stupor within eight minutes, just to free yourself from the constant talking about how dynamic the new Mini Countryman or Chevy Trailblazer or Tesla Model Whatever is. But it wasn’t always that way! This press release, which was paired with the photo above, for the 1962 Volkswagen Beetle (well, they call it a Sedan) is shockingly restrained, even almost self-deprecating?

Here, you need to see this for yourself:

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Cs 62bug Text

Let me quote you the entirety of the text that came with the photo:

“VOLKSWAGEN’S 1962 SEDAN features enlarged tail lights for greater safety.

Car still looks almost exactly like those that came off the assembly line 15 years ago.”

I mean, sure, no one loves bigger taillights more than I do, and yes, these 1962 taillights were a significant step up from the earlier design, now containing three separate sections, with two bulbs and a reflector. These lights stayed in use for another five years, in fact.

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What’s more remarkable is that next sentence, which is barely a sentence, at least in how it sounds. There’s no article before “car” which makes it feel brusque, almost like it’s being said in passing, perhaps even as an insult, that the Beetle looks the exact same as the ones from a decade and a half ago.

Though it doesn’t sound like it, this was a perverse point of pride for VW, as you can infer from this commercial from the same year:

VW loved reminding people that they didn’t change the looks of the Beetle just for the hell of it; they made engineering changes as needed, and flaunted the doctrine of planned obsolescence.

I mean, I get it, but what a weird-ass press release! It reads like someone who won’t even look up from their sandwich to tell you about the car. I kinda love it.

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Robert Swartz
Robert Swartz
5 months ago

The boys at Doyle Dane Bernbach also came up with this banger print ad: https://i.pinimg.com/736x/b5/3d/8f/b53d8f491915622f02bb42e72dcfe226.jpg

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
5 months ago

I got one this week that referenced both AI and NFTs.

My will to live is on thin ice, folks. (My faith in humanity left long ago.)

Last edited 5 months ago by Stef Schrader
Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
5 months ago
Reply to  Stef Schrader

Can I interest you in a reverse mortgage? Or a timeshare?

Miles Long
Miles Long
5 months ago
Reply to  Derek van Veen

Yes. I’m considering a reverse mortgage on my timeshare so I’m interested.

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
5 months ago
Reply to  Derek van Veen

I’ve lost interest in everything, sorry.

(Well, except Cayennes.)

Mr E
Mr E
5 months ago

I like the lack of superfluousness.

John Patson
John Patson
5 months ago

Thing which gets me is that these days the lead is almost always about comfort and how you can use Apple Car or some such.
Then they go on how all the family will love the “taunt and expressive design…”
And how it can be had in three shades of grey, including pearl and anthacite.
Then more about comfort and how the €10 million advertising film they made — all of 20 seconds, shows you can use the car to go surfing with a blonde in a bikini (as long as you do not need to actually carry a surfboard).
And then at the end they might include stuff like what motor it has, the gearbox, towing capacity and official performance figures. Renault is particularly bad, but it is copied by everyone.

Miles Long
Miles Long
5 months ago
Reply to  John Patson

Surely you meant ‘taut’, not ‘taunt’. Who do you think you are?… Vice Grip Garage?

Bob Boxbody
Bob Boxbody
5 months ago

This reads less like a press release, and more like a quick telegram to alert someone in advance. It just needs STOP after each sentence.

Mechjaz
Mechjaz
5 months ago
Reply to  Bob Boxbody

Brake lines eaten away can’t STOP
Plunging into the vast pelagic, have hit a whale STOP
Pressure building, cabin now much smaller than design spec STOP
STOP
STOP STOP STOP
—————

Joshua Mackay-Smith
Joshua Mackay-Smith
5 months ago

Language, er, martinet that I am, I’m pleased by your proper use of “infer,” but VW was flouting planned obsolescence (ignoring/defying it), not flaunting it (showing it off).

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
5 months ago

Thank you! Since I promised not to hassle Jason about his grammar post-aortic dissection, I couldn’t say anything.

Morgan van Humbeck
Morgan van Humbeck
5 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Came here to not say that also

Mr. Asa
Mr. Asa
5 months ago

Torch, are you saying you like big lights and you cannot lie?

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

Do these new taillights make my ass look big?

Cuzn Ed
Cuzn Ed
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

“No, dear! It looks exactly the same as it has for 15 years!”

Stef Schrader
Stef Schrader
5 months ago
Reply to  Mr. Asa

YEAH BUTTY, er, BUDDY

As far as the state of New York is concerned, I think he is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzHOmiV0eGU

Canopysaurus
Canopysaurus
5 months ago

Oh, oh let me try, let me try! See if you can guess the “product.”

“Candidate promises to set aside the constitution and seek revenge on opponents if elected.

Still the same lying bastard as ever.”

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago
Reply to  Canopysaurus

No matter how strong the toilet is, there are some turds that refuse to flush.

TOSSABL
TOSSABL
5 months ago

I loved the low-key VW ads, but this rather tops them. OTOH, weren’t they selling every single one they could make at that time?

Toecutter
Toecutter
5 months ago

I remember the bluish-green(turquoise?) Super Beetle my father used to own before I turned 2 years old. It was totaled in an accident. The car was noisy to ride in and the engine hurt my ears whenever he’d accelerate.

He replaced it with an A60 Toyota Celica with a manual. I recall the Beetle being roomier.

The Celica broke down perhaps 3 years later just before I turned 5, and he then bought a Toyota Tercel.

Last edited 5 months ago by Toecutter
Sid Bridge
Sid Bridge
5 months ago

As someone who does PR for a living, allow me to speculate what that press release looked like before legal and compliance got their hands on it:

VOLKSWAGEN DEBUTS LIFESAVING NEW INNOVATIVE TAILLIGHTS ON ICONIC GREATEST BEETLE EVER

Beetle taillight has already saved numerous lives

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ — Sept 23, 1961 — The entire universe stood silent for what seemed like an eternity as two beacons of red light pierced the darkness. Volkswagen debuted the brighter, safer new taillights for the Volkswagen Beetle to a stunned crowd on Wednesday, with audible gasps permeating an entire city block as the stunned masses had never anticipated such a groundbreaking update to their favorite son of automobiles.

“These new taillights came to us after a visit to Mount Olympus,” said Volkswagen General Director Heinrich Nordhoff, “Zeus had peered at the back of the vaunted Beetle and threw lightning bolts at both taillight housings, enlarging them into a level prominence that had yet to be beheld on vehicular rear lighting.”

The taillights use an innovative plastic casing, covering over Volkswagen’s propriety “light bulb” technology, providing the best possible illumination to whatever may find itself behind a Beetle.

“I have already asked that my 1958 Beetle be ejected off of a high cliff with due immediacy,” said actor Cary Grant, in attendance at the Beetle’s debut, “This is the only rear illumination worthy of my greatness.”

Aside from the monumental taillight advancement, the rest of the Beetle still looks exactly like those that came off the assembly line 15 years ago.

Volkswagen is a carmaker that exclusively makes happy cars, with a long history in the industry of peacefully putting people on the road in every country throughout the known world. We would also never present anything but accurate results regarding our vehicle emissions. For more information, please contact Volkswagen USA.

###

MATTinMKE
MATTinMKE
5 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

Thank you Sid, I needed that this morning!

Data
Data
5 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

“with a long history in the industry of peacefully* putting people on the road”

*Excludes WWII production of military vehicles, forced labor, and VW plant concentration camps. Some exclusions may apply.

Col Lingus
Col Lingus
5 months ago
Reply to  Sid Bridge

And in some places they became part of the road.

Jakob K's Garage
Jakob K's Garage
5 months ago

I owned a 1962 model year VW Beetle: It was so good I bought the exact same turquoise deluxe one twice..
Last year with the Wolfburg crest above the frunk handle. And first year with the absolutely great and yet so simple mechanical fuel gauge.

(should have just kept it of course, but where’s the great story in that?)

Last edited 5 months ago by Jakob K's Garage
StillNotATony
StillNotATony
5 months ago

Classic case of keeping expectations low. Under promise and over deliver.

OCS-BN
OCS-BN
5 months ago

I found Arthur’s resume online. His time with Volkswagen of America ended three days after the publication of this press release.

Black Peter
Black Peter
5 months ago
Reply to  OCS-BN

He said all he needed to say..

Chronometric
Chronometric
5 months ago

Tesla Model 3 is the new Beetle. Fight me.

lastwraith
lastwraith
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Does it float? =D

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
5 months ago
Reply to  Chronometric

Smaller than most cars on the market – check
more affordable than most cars on the market – check (new for around $25k)
Innovative when it first came out, not so much now – check
design barely changes over the years – check
Built by a company (or at least a CEO) with Nazi sympathies – check

I think you’re correct!

lastwraith
lastwraith
5 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

New for $25K? Where and how?
I see around $38K as the base price.

Dar Khorse
Dar Khorse
5 months ago
Reply to  lastwraith

My bad. When I quickly looked at the Tesla webpage for the Model 3, it showed one for $25k. I assumed that was new, but it was used. I didn’t expect the manufacturers website to be selling used ones.

lastwraith
lastwraith
5 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Damn, thought you knew the secret sauce and was waiting for a $10k rebate reveal or something…

Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
5 months ago
Reply to  lastwraith

Damn, thought you knew the secret sauce and was waiting for a $10k rebate reveal or something…

Sign up for an Xitter Blue Check ™ and you’ll get a $10k rebate from Elon himself.

(at least that’s what the mail in my spam folder said)

Derek van Veen
Derek van Veen
5 months ago
Reply to  Derek van Veen

Note: this is using the Chinese pronunciation of ‘X’.

lastwraith
lastwraith
5 months ago
Reply to  Derek van Veen

Haha, nope, Elon gets no money from me for that (or anything if I can help it). He’ll have to try to single-handedly “repopulate the declining world” (I’m not kidding) on someone else’s dime.

Ranwhenparked
Ranwhenparked
5 months ago
Reply to  lastwraith

And a ’60s Beetle would be more like $15,000-$16,000 in modern money, inflation adjusted

Cheap Bastard
Cheap Bastard
5 months ago
Reply to  Dar Khorse

Mid/rear engine, RWD too, at least on the base model.

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