New Beetle Ads To Bow

Arnold Communications this week unveils one of advertising’s most anticipated new campaigns.
Ads from the Boston-based shop launching Volkswagen’s New Beetle will be introduced on Thursday at a press event in New York. Television spots are scheduled to break March 23, according to client representative Tony Fouladpour.
“Drivers wanted,” the tagline introduced in the agency’s first work for the German automaker more than two years ago, will grace the ads for the New Beetle.
Along with television spots, the campaign will include print work, billboards, point-of-purchase posters and collateral materials. “The engine is in the front but its heart is in the same place” is a headline on one of the many print executions, Fouladpour said.
It will be a “pretty broad media buy because, as we’ve said, with this car, there aren’t really demographic boundaries. I think we’re seeing that now in the reaction to the car. I think some people may have doubted us a little bit, but now as you see the sort of universal reaction to this car, it does span many different demographics. I think you’re going to see that in our thinking, as well.”
Television spots feature the music of Spiritualized. Some early concepts included references to Elvis Presley and Fred Astaire, but those ideas were scrapped when the estates of the two late celebrities demanded too much money, sources said.
Volkswagen, which controls less than 1 percent of the overall new car market in the U.S., has an ad budget in excess of $100 million. Although this total is dwarfed by the spending of many Detroit automakers, Volkswagen is hoping the popularity of the original Bug, noted for its quirky, no frills design and low cost, draws both the nostalgic crowd as well as newcomers caught up by the buzz.
The client also hopes all the publicity given to the New Beetle drives consumers into the showroom. As one source said, the new Bug should be a “magnet for the brand.”