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 to roll out its most important new vehicles in a decade, DDB is trying to come up with a new campaign that would not only boost sales, but restore some of the magic that VW used to enjoy in the '60s when the old Doyle Dane Bernbach agency turned the Beetle into a phenomenon.
One source close to the account indicated that not only is agency and client considering scrapping the Fahrvergnugen line, but would try to replace it with a theme that portrayed VW as a worldwide success story, possibly using the phrase, 'the most loved car in the world.' That phrase is supposedly one of four being considered by the client.
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 number-four car maker in the world, and the number-one 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 top-gun executive Andy Berlin to head the U.S. account.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)