(The Humanisation of Automotive in the VW Caravelle Ads)
Oleh: B. S. Wijaya
Abstract: VW Caravelle ad was unique because it did not follow the standard or style of car advertising commonly, which tended to accentuate the visual of a car or car’s features in large sizes. Instead of communicating the product benefits loudly and directly (hard sell), VW Caravelle ads took the “high-risk pathway” by highlighting the symbols of expressions or human body language kinetics without visual of car (or its features). Using semiotics theory of Morris and kinetics theory of Bhirdwhistell, the meanings of messages in 2 (two) versions of VW Caravelle ad, i.e. “bulging eyes” version and “toothless” version were revealed in detail and comprehensively. Revealed, the unusual way of delivering message was actually part of the VW brand culture that tended to intelligently communicate to their customers which is mostly upper class community. Perceived quality that had been established was making VW Caravelle can more freely explore the messages of product benefits indirectly (soft sell) and challenge the intellectuality of message recipients. By using symbolism and kinetics associations, VW Caravelle was also trying to “turn on” the inanimate objects and rigid product like cars. Thus, expression of human touch in the ads made the VW Caravelle looks being product that was more than just an ordinary car.
Key words: Humanization of automotive, VW Caravelle, Semiotics Theory of Morris, Birdwhistell’s Kinetics, Body Language
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