Bug Revs Up New Campaign

Attempting to restore sagging sales of its revamped Beetle, the German automaker Volkswagen is launching a new ad campaign that departs a bit from the whimsical tone of earlier efforts by actually describing the car’s attributes.

The campaign, via Arnold, Boston, marries humor with information to describe the Beetle’s roominess, and safety. Still, the new “Round for a Reason” spots continue the sardonic tradition with voiceovers like: “Roomy. In a fun house, optical illusion sort of way” and “The crash test dummies were not only O.K., they wanted to do it again.”

Beetle sales have fallen to about 15,000 in the first quarter, from 20,724 a year earlier.

Volkswagen’s U.S. unit spent around $107 million last year advertising the Beetle, according to CMR estimates, versus $33.5 million in 1999.