Posts tagged with "Volkswagen Beetle"

Going out with a bang-up ad campaign: VW bids farewell to the Beetle on New Year’s Eve

January 1, 2020

Volkswagen is saying goodbye to the Beetle during the last moments of 2019 with a little help from a Beatles song, actor Kevin Bacon, the late pop artist Andy Warhol, and Bravo’s Andy Cohen, Advertising Age reports.

A nostalgia-laden animated ad called “The Last Mile” will get a significant push during New Year’s Eve TV programming, with airings on ABC, CNN, as well as digital billboard buys on Times Square. The spot, by Johannes Leonardo, depicts the iconic car’s role in the life of a man who is shown growing old with the Beetle, which ended production earlier this year after a run that began in the 1930s. Along the way, the ad works in references to the Beetle’s outsized role in pop culture.

The soundtrack—a rendition of the Beatle’s “Let it Be” sung by Chicago-area children’s choir Pro Musica Youth Chorus—is a nod to the car’s appearance on the Abbey Road album cover, Ad Age notes.

Bacon appears in animated form as Ren, the Beetle-driving character he played in  the 1984 movie Footloose. An animated version of Warhol quickly appears (at the 1:01 mark, snapping a photo of the Beetle) in a nod to a painting the pop artist did of the car.

The ad also includes a reference to VW’s classic “Think Small” and “Lemon” ad campaigns from the 1960s by the agency Doyle Dane Bernbach.

Cohen appears at the 1:03 mark, on the receiving end of a “punch buggy”—the old road trip game that calls for a punch on the arm upon spotting a Beetle. The Bravo personality will co-host CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage. He teased the ad on Instagram with a paid post encouraging followers to post pictures of their own Beetles, the news outlet said..

It’s part of a larger influencer campaign that will include postings from other Beetle enthusiasts. The TV ad will also run during NBC’s January 1 coverage of the National Hockey League’s “Winter Classic;” as well as during college football programming, including the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl.

Research contact: @adage

Volkswagen ‘totals’ its Beetle, ceasing production of iconic vehicle

September 17, 2018

It had all of the appeal of a 1998 Furby toy, but a much longer lifespan. Volkswagen’s Beetle is ending an 80-year global run as one of the most visually engaging and best-selling vehicles of all time.

Produced as Volkswagen AG’s first-ever model in 1938 in Wolfsburg, Germany, the Beetle endured because it was a well-built, affordable compact car that—with its unique shape and youthful spirit—sparked the imagination of buyers worldwide. Since then, 22.7 million Beetles have hit the road—and like their insect “cousins,” have flourished in nearly every ecosystem worldwide.

For many Americans, the Beetle was the ultimate “hippie car” of the Baby Boomer generation—paving the way for an influx of economical foreign models in the 1970s and 1980s.

According to a September 13 report by The Wall Street Journal, VW’s decision marks the second time the car will disappear from American showrooms. Production of the original Beetle ended in 1979, but a more-modern version of the car that was larger and had more creature comforts debuted in 1997. The newer model has been produced in Puebla, Mexico, since 1999.

U.S. sales of the Beetle stopped in 1979 and resumed with the “New Beetle” in 1998. The revamped Beetle, which featured a quirky dashboard flower vase and front-mounted engine, was replaced by a more muscular-looking version in 2011. But neither redesign caught on like the original among its Baby Boomer fans or younger generations of car buyers.

Even though the United States is the vehicle’s biggest market today, VW sold only 15,000 Beetles nationwide last year, the business news outlet said. That is less than 5% of the 339,700 cars the company sold in the States. in 2017.

Company officials said the move comes as VW focuses on other models and its electric-car lineup, but left the door open for a return of its best-known nameplate. “There are no immediate plans to replace it,” Hinrich J. Woebcken, the head of VW’s American operations, told the Journal.

.The German automaker said it would stop building the compact next year at a factory in Mexico, the last plant in the world to make the car.

Research contact: chester.dawson@wsj.com