Handcrafted cars and ugly fonts

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As is my wont, I glanced through Hindustan Times’ epaper in the morning and noticed the Volkswagen Phaeton ad. On the inside pages, the headlines were rendered in some weird font. I attributed them to a PC-Mac issue. It dawned on me quite some time later that the headlines were meant to convey a ‘handcrafted’ feel, linked with the ‘handcrafted luxury’ proposition of Volkswagen Phaeton.┬áNot surprisingly, some of the readers of Hindustan Times thought so, too.

I am all for media innovation, an idea-centered approach, not a TVC-led approach and all that jazz. But handcrafted cars being expressed in an ugly font across 30-odd pages? It has stretch written, no handcrafted all over it. What say?

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  1. Sriram Iyer Reply

    The most advanced engineering tool is the human hand. Really? My teachers used to say it was the brain. May be HT and VW think otherwise.

    And does any one really care that the car is made by human hands?

  2. to me this is a great idea executed poorly. the choice of font could have been much better..they also could have exercised more control over the headlines to be lettered in the VW font…babus quitting, mangalore crash, 30 charred to death..why would any brand want these news items to be in their much touted handcrafted font?

  3. When I saw the epaper for a moment I thought this was a default font of HT [since I don't read that paper often]. And I was like – a newspaper like this should have a better taste in choosing their headline fonts.

    and then I saw the innovation … and yet haven't been happy about the dirty font choice.

  4. In the process of piling on the moolah, they killed the 'innovation'- come to think of- doing that on the main page only would also have created the impact, since anyways they did have the jacket.

  5. Its not a bad innovation. I agree its quite intrusive but its effective. As a reader i don't like it, but as a publisher or advertiser (VW) I would would be quite happy with what it has achieved. Its managed super buzz (and its got noticed), for a single insertion newspaper advt that is quite a lot (in todays times)
    If we were HT would we refuse this innovation (and the big money attached to it)? At least I would not.

  6. Quite crappy from every single point of view: silly idea, insulting to a car of this caliber; atrocious execution, a disgrace even to an idea this silly; ridiculously expensive stunt for a marqee that is anyway looking overpriced for its solid value for money reputation. Though it could have been worse – they could have have inflicted it on a lot more people by wasting even more moolah and buying the TOI

  7. rimeswithcya Reply

    Yup, I agree with most of the comments here. It's an interesting media innovation, but lazy creative.

    They've done this kind of thing before with the little cut-outs a few months back.

  8. @B_P_Pathak Reply

    Good idea badly executed. The garage in the background gives a machine/automation look, best would be rural backdrop (Gurukul) symbolising hard-work done with hands. The luxury part is poorly depicted. At first look I found something missing and my wandering eyes then picked up the fonts style, too late for first impression! All I could conclude was bad packaging for a good car.

  9. This was a brilliant idea and hats off to the bold ones that did it.

    Garnier did something similar, but fell flat on some of the inner pages recently.

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