To begin investigating how humor is used in American advertisements versus those in the United Kingdom, we turned to one international car company to get a closer look at some of its recent humorous ads. Volkswagen, known for its infamous 1959 “Think Small” campaign, has repeatedly ranked in the top 10 list of the world’s most valuable automotive brands, according to Brand Directory.
Using a similar approach of nostalgia in the U.K., Volkswagen targeted dog owners through a “Woofwagen” campaign in 2013. It’s said that our dogs look like our owners, as Volkswagen portrays with different breeds driving different models. Each car is meant to match the owner and dog’s personality. There’s nothing funnier than seeing animals impersonate humans. Perhaps VW chose to feature dogs in their commercials because they know how much the Queen loves her corgis. It touches our heartstrings, same as the little boy did running around as Darth Vader.
In terms of reaching our personal attachments, like our childhood or furry companion, we see humor being shown in the same way in both advertisements. To us, we could see each ad being shown in either country.