The ‘Routan Boom’ Was Brooke Shields’ Anti-Breeder Moment, Courtesy Of VW

Almost 15 years ago, Volkswagen produced a full mockumentary starring Brooke Shields shaming sexually active Americans who were having kids exclusively so they could sample the ‘German engineering’ of the Volkswagen Routan, a badge-swapped, Dodge-built minivan that was neither German nor particularly ‘engineered’ past a few cosmetic updates.

Doubling down on the campaign, VW paid for an entire slate of TV and radio spots, along with a terrifying online tool called the ‘Babymaker 3000’ where you could ‘procreate with your friends’ by uploading your own, or, as encouraged by VW, celebrity photos to see what your digital kid would look like via digital face-smoosh technology.

Yes, that’s an actual screenshot from VW’s online version of what Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s Babymaker 3000 kid would look like, juxtaposed against an obvious papparazzi pic of their actual child. Classy.

That’s just the tip of the uncanny iceberg. For the full scoop on the horrors of the Routan Boom, check out my feature at Motor Trend.

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