DDB Paris Pulls a Seinfeld with This Volkswagen Ad About Nothing

By Patrick Coffee 

Emissions scandal? What emissions scandal??

Volkswagen is not the first brand to make an ad about nothing. You guys would probably remind us it wasn’t even Microsoft, the company that gave the world Jerry Seinfeld wearing his shoes in the shower.

But the approach makes sense for DDB Paris and Volkswagen, which just resolved the one and a half year controversy that threatened to take down its business and would obviously prefer to talk about anything else. Like nothing, for example.


That ad wasn’t really about “nothing,” of course. It was about the things that are too subtle for you to notice, like VW’s new safety features. Now this is starting to feel a little more familiar.

For once, the press release was amusing.

Everything has already been said about everything. So we chose to talk about nothing. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing to say. Quite the opposite, actually.

As you see, nothing means a lot of things in life. In the age of everything, everywhere, every minute, nothing is even a precious thing. About Volkswagen innovations, we could easily tell you everything: research and development, driver assist systems, autonomous cars… But we prefer talking about life, about the only thing stronger than love and better than a nap in the sun: nothing.

At least, those who hate commercials won’t be disturbed.

This kind of reminds us of the McSweeney’s piece “This Is a Generic Brand Video,” which eventually became just that. It’s definitely nothing like Deutsch’s slice of prime Bernie-fied Americana for Volkswagen US.

On ads about nothing, that CP+B Microsoft work later got scrapped after everyone responded with a LOL, but the client later claimed that this was the WHOLE POINT, because now “they will live forever in Internet posterity as being either something that people treat as a cult classic, or as a random curiosity.”


2011 Yale study did find that “an ‘uninformative’ ad may actually be the best way to connect with consumers.” You all knew that too, though.


Executive Creative Director: Alexander Kalchev
Head of copy: Patrice Dumas
Copywriter: Benoît Oulhen
Art Director: Mickaël Jacquemin
Agency Team: Alban Callet, Stéphanie Leray, Delphine Rigaud, Coralie Bouillier
TV Producer: Emilie Talpaert
Client Team: Thierry Sybord, Ghislain Laffite, Timothée Gazeau, Stéphanie Baron
Production Company: Henry
Director: Clemens Purner
Music Supervisor: Marine Cremer
Sound Production: Studio