Is it time to bid auf wiedersehen to fahrvergnugen? The pressure is on at DDB Needham to produce a big score for Volkswagen in the U.S. With market share here decreasing and VW about" data-categories = "" data-popup = "" data-ads = "Yes" data-company = "[]" data-outstream = "yes" data-auth = "" >

DDB racing on VW By David Kile

Is it time to bid auf wiedersehen to fahrvergnugen? The pressure is on at DDB Needham to produce a big score for Volkswagen in the U.S. With market share here decreasing and VW about

That tagline reflects a marketing strategy that has been gaining momentum since VW hired Tom Shaver away from Saturn Corp. last year to head the Volkswagen of America division. In search of an idea on which to rebuild the VW brand in the U.S., VW executives have for months pointed to the fact that while VW’s share of voice and market in the U.S. has evaporated, it is still the No. 4 car maker in the world, and the No. 1 in Europe.
“The idea is to show the U.S. consumer the strength and dependability around the world of the VW brand name, which has taken a beating in the U.S. for several years, and draw on some of the emotion for the brand that is left over from the glory days of VW in the ’60s and ’70s,” said one executive familiar with the development of the campaign. Though “The most loved . . . ” line has not yet been finalized,” said executives at DDB and VW, it represents the strategic direction.
DDB has done some retrenching of its own lately, assigning its topgun executive Andy Berlin to head the U.S. account. Berlin was in Europe last week, according to sources, to research the two new cars, which have been available there for several months. He is also said to be trying to recruit renowned TV commercial director Joe Pytka for the new campaign.
VW director of marketing David Schembri declined to confirm any new taglines. “We’re always working on new and different projects, and it would be extremely premature to talk about a new tagline, or about details of our new campaign.”
As for the future of fahrvergnugen, Schembri said that it is a trademarked word, “And whether it is the centerpiece of any future work or part of our signature isn’t all that relevant . . . it belongs to us, and we can use it however we want.” Fahrvergnugen, has been gradually diminished in the last year or so, now left to little more than a punctuation in ads as “Experience fahrvergnugen,” typeset next to the VW 1ogo.
Advertising for the new vehicles is expected to be shown by the company sometime in May.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)