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VW turns back the clock with new ‘YourWagen’ brand platform

Can adam&eveDDB match most famous campaign in adland history?

Everyone seems to have a new brand platform these days and so now does VW – ‘YourWagen.’ This has only taken almost exactly 100 years as ‘Volkswagen, ‘People’s Car,’ was dreamed up by one Adolf Hitler and car designer Ferdinand Porsche (who went on to design another well-known motor of course) back in 1934.

The original VW was launched in 1936, not primarily to ferry around aspirational German citizens but military purposes. Fuel was in short supply and the military got it.

So, one imagines, a great deal of thought (maybe some second thoughts) went into this particular “platform.”

But ‘YourWagen’ it now is and agency adam&eveDDB has produced a lively debut ad hymning VW users, “Without the Volks, there is no Wagen.” There may be a pushback.

VW UK head of marketing Sarah Cox-Thornley says: “This new brand platform is special. We’ve involved our customers and fans from the very start and worked with them to create something that we feel is truly unique and collaborative. It’s something that other brands simply couldn’t do and taps into the breadth and depth of our fanbase.

“Hearing some of the stories about customers and their cars has been a really wholesome experience and demonstrates how Volkswagen has always been, and will always be, an inclusive brand – that’s why it is the people’s car.”

VW ads are probably still most famous for DDB’s early work for VW which did, indeed, skilfully position it as a people’s car in the US when memories of the war were much more pressing. At the time DDB was pigeonholed as a ‘Jewish’ agency after founder Bill Bernbach and numerous other creatives. This is John Hegarty’s favourite commercial, part of a campaign that’s arguably the most famous in adland’s history.

So lots of challenges and brave of VW and A&E to rise to them, whether you agree or not.

MAA creative scale: 8.

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