Saturday, July 16, 2011

Volkswagen's Fabulous Ads, Pt 1

While going through some old periodicals, I ran across one of VW's iconic ads from back in the 60's.  I thought it would make a good subject for this blog, so I started pulling down all the ads I could find, thinking I could just pick the best ones.  Little did I realize that ALL of the ads are pure advertising gold.  I'm up to 64 ads now, and I'm only to 1963.  These ads in Pt. 1 are from 1959.

Click on any of the ads to enlarge

For now, I'm going to add about 10 or 15 ads at a time, a couple of times a week until you or I get tired of them.  If you like them, comment.  Same thing if you don't like them.  After all, this blog is for you, my tens of loyal readers, right?

Shamelessly ripped off from Wikipedia's entry on VW's advertising:  

In 1949, William Bernbach, along with colleagues, Ned Doyle and Maxwell Dane, formed Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB), the Manhattan advertising agency that would create the revolutionary Volkswagen ad campaigns of the 1950s and 1960s.
Bernbach's artistic approach to print advertising was innovative, and he understood that advertising didn't sell products. The strategy was to keep customers by creating and nurturing them as brand ambassadors rather than attempting to attract the attention of those who were uninterested in the product. Bernbach's team of "agency creatives" was headed by Helmut Krone, who pioneered the idea of simplicity in print media advertisements. His repeated use of photographs as opposed to the embellished illustrations used traditionally by competing agencies, spawned comfortably-consistent, yet unique, print ads that met DDB's goal of making a stark departure from existing advertisement techniques.[1]
The corporate headquarters and factory that produced Volkswagens was located in Wolfsburg, Germany. Because Volkswagen’s advertising budget in 1960 was only $800,000 [2] DDB’s bare-bones, black-and-white approach, coupled with a projected common theme of irreverence and humor, fit Wolfsburg’s needs well. Each Volkswagen ad was designed to be so complete that it could stand alone as a viable advertisement, even without addressing all aspects of the automobile.
Taken as a sign of the campaign's runaway success, research by the Starch Company showed that these Volkswagen advertisements had higher reader scores than editorial pieces in many publications, noting that Volkswagen advertisements often didn't even include a slogan or logo. The 1959 Think Small Volkswagen series of advertisements were voted the No. 1 campaign of all time in Advertising Age’s 1999 The Century of Advertising.[3]

These first selections are from 1959.  


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