Were Freud alive today, he’d no doubt have a ball with Volkswagen and creative agency Ogilvy’s longstanding obsession with the idea of making us all “eat the road.” Back in 2011 the car company and Ogilvy Cape Town developed an admittedly staid-looking Auto Trader ad that encouraged readers to remove and, well, eat it. (The sheet claimed to be made of “glutinous rice flour, water, salt, propylene glycol, FD&C color and glycerine.) Now, Volkswagen’s gotten together with Memac Ogilvy & Mather in Dubai for the much snazzier looking Eat the Road box.
Inside this promotion for the Volkswagen GTI you’ll find “a gourmet selection of the world’s meanest roads, hand-picked especially for the GTI – a car designed to eat any road,” according to Packaging of the World.
“From the sea highways of Norway to the Arizona Valley of Fire, each road is uniquely flavoured to bring to life the destinations from around the world.”
This is one of those rare instances in which the topic of conversation is so unique, you’re not even sure what questions to ask beyond the obvious: Are these “roads” made of the same stuff as the Auto Trader ad?
If so, AdWeek did come up with a good question to ask, or at least to Google. The answer: “A little research into propylene glycol [one of the ingredients] isn’t very encouraging—in the U.S., the EPA warns factory workers to avoid skin contact with PG to prevent brain, liver, and kidney abnormalities!” You might be better off eating the road after all.