I just read this story in Business week, recalling the Burger King guy, which I deplore. My account assistant says, “He scares me, but I think it’s brilliant marketing.” But the Fast campaign, I absolutely love. I want one of those little dolls. Following that campaign with the “VDUBLU” campaing was a miss for me. It seemed silly, rather than intelligent and sophisticated.
It seems the Rabbit is coming back. Unlike the iconic Beetle, I don’t remember the Rabbit or much about it. At the ripe young age of 33, I was only a year old when it debuted. It’s pedestrian design was rather unremarkable for VW, so I’m thinking bringing that brand back will not create a bounce for VW.
Regardless, my neighbors in south Florida are killing it. Too bad we can’t get them to appear at our AIGA conference.
Here’s a snippet of the article:
The Craziest Ad Guys In America
Inside Crispin Porter + Bogusky’s wacky, ambitious plan to rekindle our love affair with Volkswagen
Remember the Volkswagen Rabbit? The boxy, fuel-efficient hatchback was launched in 1974 to replace the legendary Beetle as the company’s big seller and was the first VW made in the U.S. It also became known for catching fire and breaking down, and thus became the symbol of VW’s collapse in America through the 1980s. At the insistence of VW’s German parent, the Rabbit name was killed in 1985, and the Westmoreland (Pa.) assembly plant was shuttered soon after.
So it was audacious indeed when Alex Bogusky, chief creative officer of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which took over the VW advertising account last December, suggested resurrecting the Rabbit name. In a Mar. 20 meeting at the Auburn Hills (Mich.) headquarters of VW of America, with company brass and two members of its dealer council, Bogusky reasoned that the redesigned Golf launching in the U.S. this year had already been selling in Europe for two years, so auto writers probably wouldn’t pay much attention to the stateside debut. “So let’s change the story,” offered the 42-year-old ad director before the assembled group. Nervous laughter followed. VW supervisory board Chairman Ferdinand K. Piëch, known for his bad temper and for insisting that VW have global model names, was certain to disapprove. But VW’s U.S. chief, Adrian M. Hallmark, bought in and took the idea to the carmaker’s German headquarters in Wolfsburg on Mar. 25. Worldwide brand chief Wolfgang Bernhard said yes, and ordered new signs, photography, and press releases to be rushed for the New York International Auto Show on Apr. 12, despite whispers that Piëch, already gunning for Bernhard’s boss, management board Chairman Bernd Pischetsrieder, was unhappy.