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It’s a ‘grumpy old woman’ rant: ‘I can’t stand the bullying VW ad’
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By Sue BagustIn OpinionOn Wednesday 16th May, 2018

It’s a ‘grumpy old woman’ rant: ‘I can’t stand the bullying VW ad’

Volkswagen's latest commercial promotes bullying, even if only subliminally. Source: YouTube

While we’re all busy supporting anti-bully days in schools and adopting Facebook borders about ‘speaking out even though your voice shakes’, there is a television commercial that makes me cringe every time I see it. I really don’t like the subliminal messages in the Volkswagen ad, so I’m speaking out even though my voice shakes.

Roboboy is a cute commercial, well-produced and acted, however … 

  • One consistent characteristic of bullies is that they haven’t developed empathy. They don’t consider the feelings of others. They don’t grasp the concept of putting yourself in another’s shoes.
  • Bullies don’t suddenly materialise from the netherworld to a child’s birthday party, to make another child change seats by ‘backing’ into him. It’s not funny doing what Dad does, if it causes distress to another child, so much so that the other child hunches over and shovels cake into his mouth as though food is the only compensation for being at that party.
  • The actual definition of bullying isn’t teasing. Bullying is defined as ‘aggressive behaviour’ in which ‘someone intentionally causes another person discomfort’. We even get to see the bullied child’s distress on the commercial.

As for the parent’s role in that commercial, showing that we think we are above other people for any reason is a strong message to children. Kids soak it all in and are watching and learning far more than we ever realise. It’s lucky that I don’t have the money for a new car at the moment, because I wouldn’t choose a Volkswagen simply because of that commercial.’

That’s my Grumpy Old Woman rant for the week…

Have you seen this advertisement? Do you think it promoting bullying?

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