Behind VW’s ‘reboot’ for lighter, more creative and flexible media spending


While trying to break free from the global diesel emissions scandal of 2015, in 2019, Volkswagen of America launched a new campaign called “Do Bigger Than Yourself”, with causes ranging from saving water to relieving highway traffic jams. .

Now with most of the scandal in its rearview mirror window, VW is making a decisively light transition with new advertising and social media and influencer work to bring back the clever and witty tone of the brand’s past. At the same time, VW is implementing a more flexible media purchasing plan to cope with the unpredictability of today’s automotive market caused by supply chain issues.

“It’s time to refresh and reboot,” Kimberley Gardiner, senior vice president of marketing at VW of America, said in an interview. “When we have a little Volkswagen smile and wink in our work, we feel clever, we don’t take it completely seriously, we talk about cheap, practical German engineering.

VW kept the slogan “Drive Bigger”. However, the new ad for lead agency Johannes Leonardo interprets on a much more pragmatic and personal level, exhibiting simple acts of kindness (with VW vehicles playing a central role) rather than the all-out social message seen in previous works.

A spot titled ‘They’ features an annoying and rude man who is too engrossed in his smartphone and doesn’t care about the people around him. His obsession almost killed him as he crossed the street head-on, but he was saved by VW’s “standard front-assist” system, which forces the driver of the VW Atlas to brake in time before hitting him.

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