I may be one of the few Americans who didn’t see this ad when it came out during the Superbowl (I missed the first half), but since one of our pest management agents forwarded it this week, I am now up-to-speed.
The animation on the ad is impressive, and the artists obviously did their homework in designing their lovable bugs. I identified a caterpillar, bumble bee, ants, two kinds of grasshopper, lady beetles, a praying mantis, dragonfly, and (the star of the lineup, in my opinion) a jumping spider–all rendered pretty accurately from an anatomical perspective, if not a behavioral one.
It’s fun to see insects being included in popular culture, especially when people are encouraged to see the world from a new (insect) perspective. But in real life cars are not especially kind to insects. Some of you may remember that about a year ago Dutch biologist Arnold van Vliet decided to estimate annual insect mortality due to cars. After enlisting 250 drivers and counting insect mortality on a small part of each car (the license plate), he estimated nearly a trillion insect fatalities caused by cars every six months in the Netherlands alone. Extrapolated to the U.S., where we drive our 200 million cars about 2.5 trillion miles annually, blogger Stephen Messenger estimates this would mean we’re killing around 32.5 trillion insects on the front grills of our Tahoes, Camrys and Ford F-150s each year.
Chevrolet may be doing the insect world little good by introducing its fancy new sports car, but at least its ad is clever.