When Volkswagen was launched in the 1930s, most Germans couldn’t afford cars. The state was already struggling with sanctions from the first world war, and on top of it, the 1920s were an especially distressing time for global economy. So when Volkswagen first came to market, cars were a novelty – most people could only afford motorbikes, and cars were typically too expensive. However, Volkswagen changed that. The name itself translates to “people’s car” (volk means folk in German), after all. To this day, Volkswagen continues to be one of the largest car manufacturers in the world. And a lot of it is owed to its marketing: beginnin from print and radio ads that ran before TVs were a thing, Volkswagen has always been known for its ability to connect with consumers with its ads. With that, we bring you 10 best Volkswagen ads that prove that they have always had great marketing.
1. Think Small
Nothing really matches the self-deprecating wit of Volkswagen’s early print campaigns, starting with its “Think Small” campaign, which was considered legendary for its time – the ad details every important aspect of the vehicle it’s trying to sell, taking up a large space and filling it with useful information.
2. Wilt Chamberlain VW Commercial
In the 1960s, Volkswagen hired a few names that were stupdendously famous in the sporting world. One such name was Wilt Chamberlain, who at one point was considered one of the greatest basketball players in the history of the game.
3. Dustin Hoffman Sells a Volkswagen
Before Dustin Hoffman became an Academy award winner, he was hired by Volkswagen in a TV commercial. In this TV ad, Dustin tries to sell the viewer a Volvo just like any sales person would.
In this now iconic Volvo ad, “Lemon” refers to a car that is faulty and needs repair. This ad was, in fact, so popular that led to the making of “lemon laws” which protect a consumer’s right against products that repeatedly fail to meet standards of quality.
It is a known statistical fact that women are the ones deciding the most major financial purchases in any household. However, other than beauty products, barely anything is targeted towards women. This Volvo ad, however, appeals to the modern woman, who, even in a moment of duress, still loves her sweet ride!
6. Buying a car for someone you love
A stereotype often associated with women is that of being a bad driver – and while data points to the opposite (men are more likely to cause accidents than women, according to this report), the stereotype is here to stay for a while. This Volkswagen ad plays at the same.
7. It’s easy to push.
This ad proudly boasts of the fantastic mileage of 32 miles that its car offers, but just in case gas runs out, it’s easy to push!
8. Un-pimp your ride
In the popular MTV show from the 2000s, Pimp My Ride, each episode picks a young car owner who drives a car in need of some rejuvenation, and the show customizes the car for the owner. Often, these customizations were rather gaudy and in-your-face. In this Volvo ad, the host “un-pimps” the car for the owner.
9. It’s ugly but it gets you there.
Playing again at the self-deprecating humor used in Volvo ads, this ad reads,”it’s ugly, but it gets you there.”
10. Buying a Volkswagen from an old lady
A stereotype related with Old ladies is that they are gentle drivers. Volkswagen would have you think twice before making that assumption.
11. Fast just got faster.
This ad showing an ostrich wearing Cheetah skin for a jacket is pretty unforgettable.
12. Planning for the future
When is the right age to buy a car? Probably after 18. But there’s no right age for planning, right?
The lemon has turned into lemonade.
14. Cool Dad
Can you drive a car nice enough to be a cool dad? Even to your own child?
15. This car will help you up the corporate ladder.
Cars can only help you so much!
16. Connect to a higher power
If you have been finding it difficult to establish a connection with the one on the roof, this Volkswagen ad has some suggestions for you.
17. Cruise Control
Everything feels slightly better when we’re cruising, doesn’t it?
Did you like our list of the best Volkswagen ads? Which one was your favourite? Comment below to let us know!