Volkswagen Small But Tough Girl vs Barclay Precious Pink Girl

No, Barclays. This is NOT how I see my daughter’s relationship with her father.




I have been known to throw things at the TV when that advert comes on. As this blogger notes, ‘Unconditional Love’ does not mean raising selfish kids. We may give up sleeping through the night and drinking tea while it is hot, at least for the first few years, but we draw the line at giving up our entire lives for our kids

It is no sacrifice, the changes that we have made since becoming parents. It is being part of a family, and making compromises to ensure that everyone in the family is happy and fulfilled.

While the focus was certainly on the needs of the children while they were babies and toddlers, as they have grown older, there has been a slight change. The wishes of the parents are no longer put far behind those of the children, and the children learn to negotiate and compromise to get what they want.

Who were Barclays hoping to catch with that advert? It is truly awful, and that is before we get to the horribly stereotyped pink-obsessed spoiled little madam.


Today, I saw this advert, which was like a breath of fresh air   






I immediately looked to see if I could find it on YouTube so I could share it with others. On the second viewing, I liked it even more.

This is a caring father, who spends time with his daughter, not just money on his daughter. He cares for her, plays with her, laughs with her. He gives up his jumper during a walk in the park and shivers for her. (By this point I had tears in my eyes, sentimental fool that I am). He gives her boyfriend the evil eye and helps pack her books when she leaves to go to University.


Yes, it is an advert, and it is created for women like me who will share it with their friends and say, ‘awwwwwww isn’t this lovely’, and it was created by a cynical marketing team who want us to buy the cars they are flogging. 

And yet… It is important that our girls feel that we see them as the Volkswagen Girl, not the Barclays Girl.  It may be ‘just an advert’ but it sets a tone, and it sets and example. We are proud of our girls, and we value them.


The interesting thing about these two adverts is that the basic idea is very similar. The sacrifices that we make for our children, shown in a timeline from birth to adulthood.

In my opinion, Barclays totally missed the point. I am on TeamVW. Whose side are you on? 



  • Natalia

    I don’t watch much TV these days so I hadn’t seen either of these. All I could think of while watching the Barclays one was “WHAT!?” and my jaw kept dropping. What were they thinking? Awful, absolutely awful. It’s basically portraying a ‘dummy’ dad pandering to a spoilt daughter. I also wonder who they thought their target customer was!
    The VW one, on the other hand, made me get a small lump on my throat… and it must be dusty in here ::coughs:: GO VW! 😉

  • Marina Sofia

    I had seen the Barclays one and found it very annoying, but yes, you are right about the VW one. Although I know I am having my sentiments manipulated, it is still touching. OK, debatable about why it’s the Dad who is shown making all the sacrifices and buying the car (it is implied) – still the stereotype of the protector and breadwinner, but much more aspirational than the Barclays one.

    • Lynn C Schreiber

      I noticed that ‘mum’ is a shadowy figure in the ad. There to show that actually this is a proper family, not a single dad, if we are being cynical.

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