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Volkswagen Play An Absolute Blinder With Its Superbowl LVIII Ad

Updated: Feb 17




Have You Seen Volkswagen’s Latest Ad? You Should Do; It’s Epic


Once upon an early 1990’s time there was a budding copywriter who dreamed of becoming half of the creative team behind Volkswagen’s iconic tv ad campaigns. Which meant he’d be employed by DDB.


Or to afford them their predictably wordy advertising agency full title; Doyle Dane Bernbach



And that’s because he loved both cars and advertising. So this seemed like the natural fit for his creative skills.


That budding copywriter went on to become the author of this blog (and THIS ONE), whilst Volkswagen adverts continued to be ever more engaging and witnessed by millions as the years progressed. 





You see, nobody, and we mean, NOBODY, created memorable automotive TV ads in anywhere near the same ball park as Volkswagen did.


Since day one, it’s always been the case.


Volkswagen's very tight working relationship with the aforementioned DDB saw them as the brand that arguably invented modern advertising as we now know it.  


During the 1950’s and 60’s DDB was untouchable, with the Manhattan-based (where else?! have you never watched, ‘Mad Men?’) ad agency responsible for creating some of VW’s most iconic ad campaigns.


Famous press ads included the seminal, ‘Lemon’; while TV ads in the 1980’s and 90’s heyday which inspired me included ‘Changes’







Few Car Makers Touch The Emotional Nerve Quite Like VW


All of which backstory-regaling leads us to the planet’s biggest annual sporting event, Taylor Swift, #cancelculture and Veedub’s very latest ad.


An ad that’s not without controversy as it happened.


More of which later.




Firstly, and primarily though, let’s focus on the positives of an ad which was debuted during this year’s Superbowl showdown.


And was so evocative that it almost stole Taylor Swift’s (and her entourage's) much-publicised thunder. To many NFL fans her presence alone ran a serious risk of overshadowing this global sporting phenomenon. 




Volkswagen’s current ad agency clearly did what its predecessors have done since the year dot. Creating memorable, emotion-fuelled ads which are peak societal zeitgeist in the one, full-caffeine hit. 


In terms of ‘An American Love Story’ we were treated to a couple of minutes of escapist and overtly nostalgia-driven snapshots, seen through the filtered lens of all our automotive back catalogues.


Only set to an emotion-tugging Neil Diamond soundtrack.




Everything thrown into a cinematic monologue which placed generations of Volkswagens at the epicentre of American history and culture. With colourful references to everything era-defining from Woodstock and the Herbie movie franchise to Star Wars and The Simpsons.  


In typical Volkswagen advertising style the viewer couldn't help but to be reduced to tears of joy as we joined them on this beautiful journey. From late 1940’s monochrome versions of early VW Beetle landings, through to our very own instantly recognisable Insta Age.






History Will Judge Volkswagen For Its Vehicular Heritage


But to some of the more pragmatic observers (as opposed to outspoken critics) it was more about what the ad didn’t touch on, rather than the memory lane-travelling interludes it did. 


‘An American Love Story’ seemingly recounts only 75 years of history taking the viewer on what cynics might be moved to describe as a blinkered journey back to a timeline which apparently only started in 1949.


When in fact Volkswagen came into being some 12 years earlier. Subsequently glossing over VW’s initial (and difficult) Nazi connections.





Although playing Devil’s Advocate for a moment, the 75 does pivotally reference the number of years which the German automotive brand has appeared on American shores.


And choosing Neil Diamond as the lyrical support is apparently representative of ‘diamond’ jubilees, not corporate absentmindedness. 


It’s an argument we have no intention of involving ourselves in, when instead we simply wish to share the beauty of automotively-inspired creativity as its consummate best. 


Crafted in an automotive fashion that VW and VW alone could only ever do.


Enjoy.

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