Kicking off the campaign, created at DDB Needham by Mike Rogers and John Staffen, is a 60-second ad, in which people are seen enjoying their VWs in Japan, Sweden, Italy, England, France and Germany. The ad talks about differences in cultures, but then the voiceover asserts, "No one likes the same thing. So how come everybody loves Volkswagen?" Continuing the tagline "The Most Loved Cars in the World," the campaign tries to assuage apprehension about the VW brand among U.S. consumers, who have witnessed the nameplate's demise, by pointing out that the vehicles are the best-selling models in Europe and the best-selling imports in Japan.
There are individual spots talking about the cars' popularity in Japan and Italy. A spot extolling VW safety features, featuring a Swedish mother (who could have bought a Volvo), breaks after the cars become available with airbags. Thirty-second versions for dealers are tagged with offers of $199/month leases and 10-year warranties.
But will Americans really care that these cars are best-sellers in Europe and Japan? BW&C president Tony Wright, who had been executive vp/group account director at DDB, said he understands the doubt, but defends the idea.
"These cars offer a unique European driving experience that a certain consumer wants. And he or she can't find a better value for those qualities than these cars," said Wright. "We aren't trying to out-Japanese the Japanese."
Volkswagen, which is expected to spend about $70-80 million this model year, has been slowly rolling out the new models since May and is now up to about 24 markets.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)