It seems like architecture is taking a more prominent role in advertising these days. Specifically sexy, photogenic architecture by the likes of Frank Gehry, Morphosis, or Rem Koolhaas. And specifically car commercials, where the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Caltrans HQ, or the Seattle Public Library - by these architects, respectively - sit in the background as this year's model zips by in the foreground.
This above print ad for Volkswagen is a good example, especially given that advertisers strive for consistency across different media (TV, print, internet, radio, etc) in their ad campaigns to create an image in the consumer's mind. In terms of print area, the car that's being "sold" takes up less room in the ad than OMA's Public Library in Seattle (in fact, it takes up less area than the pavement or the people's silhouettes, for that matter, showing that these days quantity isn't as important as quality, or more specifically mood). Basically VW is taking a trendy piece of architecture and using it to add appeal to what looks like a run-of-the-mill, four-door sedan. Take the building out and what do you have? A car that looks like many other cars on the market these days. The architecture helps to create an identity for the car with the consumer.
I'm sure this isn't a new thing, but the more I see TV commercials of cars whizzing by the latest curvaceous or jagged building, the more these commercials seem the same, to the point where the distinction or identity that the advertisers are aiming for isn't working anymore.