VW, Arnold Get Tactical

New Ads Tout Car Features More Than Image
BOSTON-Volkswagen of America has rolled out new commercials from Arnold Communications that emphasize standard features, a departure from its brand-building ads for specific models.
One humorous twist from the automaker whose previous spots have been enlivened with catchy musical tracks: the absence of sound in a spot plugging the Jetta’s stereo system. A young man in the driver’s seat of a parked Jetta drums out the beat to a song. Only when a companion comes along and opens the door do the strains of a rock tune come blaring forth.
A second spot focuses on two mechanics peering into an open trunk in amazement at what turns out to be a full-sized spare tire.
Liz Vanzura, vice president of marketing for VW, described the ads as “more tactical” in nature than previous “Drivers Wanted” spots.
“We don’t usually beat our chests, but we wanted to highlight some of the more than 40 standard features,” Vanzura said.
In late summer, VW will break a spot-now in production-for the 150-horsepower sports version of the New Beetle. The so-called Super Bug features a turbocharged engine, leather interior, speed-activated rear spoiler and heated front seats.
VW is enjoying record sales in the U.S. and Canada, in part because of the “Drivers Wanted” campaign and the popularity of the New Beetle.
VW allocated more than $180 million on advertising in 1998, a 70 percent increase over the prior year, per Competitive Media Reporting. ƒ