top of page

10 Most Memorable VW Ads Ever

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

As trusted Volkswagen specialists ourselves, we appreciate other like-minded professionals. Especially those who view every generation of VW’s as lifestyle-inspiring cars. True labours of love. As much as we do. Which is why we’ve chosen to acknowledge and celebrate what we believe to be the 10 most memorable VW ads ever created. 

To this day Volkswagen continues to dream up ads which resonate with global audiences. Longer-living in our memories than similar offerings from any other car manufacturer we care to remember. 

A thoroughly modern – and ever-evolvingTV tale ostensibly kick-started by the seminal VW Beetle ‘Lemon’ press ad from the 1960s. The ‘Think Small’ campaign is the stuff of marketing legend. Essentially a benchmark by which future car advertising has been measured ever since.

1980’s VW TV Ads Struck Chords With Materialistic Viewers

While the 70s also offered its fair share of VW ad agency masterpieces thereafter, we fast-forward our Betamax VCRs to the decade of decadence. When art directors and copywriters surpassed themselves. To envisage cinematic vignettes which made us all fall in love with VW. Be they in Golf, Polo, Passat, Scirocco or Tiguan guise. And everything else resolutely Volkswagen in between.

The 1980s heralded an unprecedented era of TV advertising greatness, defining the automotive genre. Pretty much seen as a sign of the times. The changing times (then), being none other than the age of the yuppie. 

Hands up who recalls the redoubtable 80s ‘Changes’ ad? Which was the original vehicle for the classic, ‘if only everything in life was as reliable as a Volkswagen’ strapline. When and where viewers witnessed a wronged woman pointedly discarding every item associated with her doomed relationship. Save, understandably, for her MkII Golf GTi

VW’s Ad Agency Always Ensured Creativity Reflected The Times

Then the 80s gave way to the 1990s. Ushering in the case of the ‘mysterious squeaking noise’. In turn leading us to the 2000s.

Who can forget the hip 2005, ‘Singing in the Rain’ reboot to accompany the launch of the Mk5 Golf GTi. The televisual era of ingenious ride ‘un-pimping’ followed shortly after.

Keeping Vee-dubstep thing real, innit.

All the above make cameo appearances in our definitive compilation of the 10 Most Memorable VW Ads Ever. So, why not seize this opportunity to remind yourself of some of these very clever little ads. Ads we’ve hand-picked for your entertainment. Along with timely snapshots of some incredible (and possibly forgotten) VW models. All collectively encapsulating successive eras of motoring.

1. ‘It’s Ugly, But It Gets You There’.

The stripped back punchiness of this 1969 VW print ad is simply sublime. Comparing the un-easy-on-the-eye lunar landing module to an equally ‘acquired taste’ Volkswagen Beetle. This saw the continuation of the humorous tones first observed in the ‘Lemon’ ads created by the German manufacturer’s agency. (image above)

2. This 1983 VW ad employed the larger-than-life presence of one of the world’s strongest men at the time, Geoff Capes.

As he got to grips with a Polo. His physical attributes ensured that no Polo was left unturned in validating VW’s claims that its classic little ‘bread van’ was a sturdy and robust hatchback.

3. No countdown of the 10 most memorable VW ads ever would be complete without this inclusion.

Discarded fur coats, expensive jewellery and very nearly the keys to Paula Hamilton’s MkII Golf GTi. This seismically iconic 1987 VW ad’s strapline also pretty much transcends time. If only everything in life was as reliable as a WCC…. (insert smiley face here)

Irritating Rattles….

4. Praying on the fears of drivers who can’t rest until they discover the root cause of that persistent rattle.

VW’s 1990 ‘Squeaky Earring’ commercial is yet another example of Volkswagen’s enduringly simplistic approach to the subtle art of advertising.

5. As a nation of animal lovers, once again VW hit on a recurrent theme in the 1990s.

When their creative team placed a dog next to a VW Polo. Switch on a massive fan, cue an ever-lasting ‘awwwww’ moment/feat. Later repeated courtesy of their singing dog in another Polo ad.

6. Speaking of singing, this 2005 Gene Kelly-inspired VW ad jazzed things up by recruiting a kinda Max Headroom version of musical great.

Fused with the deployment of some snazzy CGi. Snazzy for the time, that is. Visual effects have moved on a little since then. As has the Golf GTi. We’re up to the recently launch Mk8 now let’s not forget….

7. 2006’s Un-Pimp Your Ride campaign stood as the absolute antithesis of the ‘Pimp Your Ride’ generation. Seemingly inspired by the Max Powering of VW’s hottest hatches at the time. (Vee-) dubbed, ‘the original, updated’. Does the central character remind anyone else of trance pop irritant, Scooter. Or is it just us? (cue another smiley face)

Old Stereotypes….

8. This cheeky 2010 VW ad made for a Dutch audience makes a mockery of an old adage.

One which alludes to notion of buying a used car off a nice old lady is completely risk free. Which of course, it is.

9. ‘Fast Just Got Faster’.

If you should ever need more proof that Volkswagen’s still got print game, here it is. Have an ostrich wearing a cheetah print hoodie. Apart from being silly, it’s also a great way of referring to a pumped up Scirocco GTS as fast. Yet stopping short of implying that the regular Scirocco is by comparison, er, slow. And the copywriter achieved this feat via one image, four words, and five syllables. (image above)

10. This 2016 ad for the VW Tiguan focused on a ‘too cool for school’ dad.

Highlighting the stark contrast between mere mortal parents in ‘totes cringe’ cars dropping their less-than-impressed offsprings off outside the gates on the school run. And featured a supposedly desirable Tiguan gaining a lot of admiring glances/respec. 

Your Experiences at WCC Will Endure Like Iconic VW Ads

Things stay long in the memory if they make a lasting first impression.  

Here at one of the north west’s leading independent VW and Audi Group specialists, our customers always come away feeling nothing but positive vibes. In terms of their interactions with WCC. Creative solutions with added humour and unswerving professionalism underpin the Volkswagen advertising ethos of yore. Appealing to audiences far and wide. 

Sound familiar?


This also describes the WCC approach to customer engagement. Epitomizing our full service offering

At WCC we’re all about creating memories. Both our customer-facing working environments and the tech platforms we facilitate allow us to actively encourage positive experiences. And feedback, from the very outset. And throughout the customer journey with us.

Contact us today if your Volkswagen requires any of the following:

  1. Servicing

  2. Repairs

  3. Diagnostic checks

  4. MOT

  5. Installation of any after-market driver aids/vehicle security devices

Our team possesses a wealth of first-hand experience and learned knowledge across the entire Volkswagen range of cars, vans, pick-ups and campers.

1,070 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page