Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Volkswagen Beetle - launch of a legend !

The Volkswagen Beetle is a legend and the ad world have always stood in reverence to the wonderful advertising that Doyle, Dane and Bernbach (DDB) created over so many years for the beetle.. Stormy pitches and messy client agency relationships should learn a lesson or two from the long lasting relation here between the client and his agency… decades now and it still is strong… When others were busy in lionizing size, power, and stature, 1960s Volkswagen Beetle advertising was the tranquil voice for a host of unusual values and selling points. Plus, it made one smile.

How can one see and read the “Think small” ad, after so many years and still not start instantly admiring the great man by the name Bernbach?
How can one after reading the “Live below Your Means” ad, stop wondering why writers aren't like him, simple and yet shooting ideas in the form of words?
How can one not be an ardent fan of advertising after seeing the “No point in showing you the 1962 Volkswagen, it still looks the same." ad…?

Now the iconic beetle is here, In India ….As far as I remember it is the third most awaited car after the First Maruthi and Tata Nano.. and why not ? A Beetle is a Beetle and not any other car could be as successful as the beetle ever was…. The original Bug was the first people’s car and over the years, its popularity has grown heaps and bundles… The new iteration of the Beetle was launched in 1998, drawing inspiration from the original Beetle. Unlike the rear-engined original Beetle, the new Beetle is a front-engined, front wheel drive car.

It is a good looking car. Cute and stylish, it has turned and still turns heads on the street like very few others can. Its price and its place in the C segment is a bit amusing for me but yeah, when a Beetle does it there may be a reason… Its engine, airbags, ABS, electronic stability programme are all wonderful (!!!) but not part of our review here…

Having said so much and having expected the arrival of the Beetle for long, I should say about this ad that you see here made by DDB Mudra ( that is the combine of the One and only DDB and Mudra the Indian partner) for the launch ...

It is nothing but just plain … No great out of the box stuff.. no great creative stand outs, no great punches on clich├ęs and also ran formulae’s.. just simple ads whose sadly ideas sadly are not original..… “Beetle is here- admire it” stuff, which in any case people are doing, with or without the ads… “Recreate a legend” is the brief that was given to the agency, and it simply hasn’t been able to create an inch more of it than the Beetle already had….

I don’t want to accuse of a rip-off and neither do I want to draw similarity to some ads of the past (particularly a print ad by BMW some years ago which showed a valet enjoying the parking business because he gets BMW’s occasionally).. For those who saw the show room ad from Volkswagen and now this ,I am sure the first one looked definitely better in spite of a choking vaccum of an original idea there too.. at least there was a parade of brands there and people got to hear the names..

This print ad looks like a 2009 copy of the "Think small" ad , except that it stand much below in the WOW factor !! The TVC’s where Kid washes car, kid pays owner. Valet parks car, valet pays owner is the theme, is just bland, if my readers can feel what bland really means, that is !

This is from the net …..Lutz Kothe, chief general manager - Marketing and PR, Volkswagen India said, “I have been here since June and at every party that I would go to, everybody would ask ‘When are you launching the Beetle in India?”

Well!!! He has been here from June and what did he learn?
Was this what all and how Beetle and its ad agency in India could have had said?

Is not this the case of an agency taking a client for granted? VW we know is with DDB world wide as a global arrangement, but it need not be for ever and not every where…!!!

Hope the agency is listening !!!

NB:-See more of VW Beetle ads here...
For those who want to read the legend of Beetle read this book by the title..
Small Wonder: The Amazing Story of the Volkswagen Beetle by Walter Henry Nielson...
And some less serious stuff about the beetle here....
The who is who behind Beetle ads in India..
Credit Details (TVC)
Title: Valet
Agency: DDB Mudra
National creative director: Rajeev Raja
Copywriter and chief creative officer: Bobby Pawar
Art Director: Timsy Gupta
Director: Ramamurthy S
Production House: Nirvana Films
Post production: Prime Focus
Music: Clint Fernandes

Credit Details (Print)
Art Director: Timsy Gupta
Copywriter: Anshumani Khanna, Bobby Pawar


Anonymous said...

Would you be able to tell me where the song's from, please! I can't get it out of my head.
Thank you,


Anonymous said...

Would you be able to tell me where the song's from, please! I can't get it out of my head.
Thank you,


Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

Anonymous said...

"The TVC’s where Kid washes car, kid pays owner."

Which ad are you talking about? I am not able to recollect the ad, though it rings a bell.

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