VW's "Drivers Wanted' Ads Enter Third Phase

Latest Arnold-Created TV Campaign Touts Models’ Special Features
BOSTON-Volkswagen of America has rolled out new commercials from Arnold Communications that tout standard features, a departure from its brand-building ads for specific models.
Liz Vanzura, vice president of marketing for VW, described the ads as “more tactical” in nature, focusing on specific product features. The ads represent the third phase of a yearlong advertising program aimed at maximizing “the buzz” around the brand, she said.
The first phase of the automaker’s 1999 advertising broke in December, a series of three teaser spots that titillated viewers with the “new VWs are coming” message. The second phase included brand-oriented spots for the redesigned Golf, Passat and Jetta.
“We don’t usually beat our chests, but we wanted to highlight some of the more than 40 standard features available,” Vanzura said of the latest ads.
The 30-second spots-running this week on primetime network programs such as Ally McBeal, Dateline, Dawson’s Creek, ER and Homicide-will return for another short flight in late June or early July, running in rotation with the Jetta “Great Escape,” Passat “Synchronicity” and Golf “Mattress” ads, Vanzura said.
VW allocated more than $180 million on advertising in 1998, a 70 percent increase over the year before, according to Competitive Media Reporting.
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 heatable front seats.
VW is enjoying record sales in the U.S. and Canada, in part because of the success of the “Drivers Wanted” campaign introduced four years ago by Boston-based Arnold, the popularity of the New Beetle and well-received redesigned models such as the Jetta and Passat. ƒ