Remember Those Great Volkswagen Ads? Hardcover – 1 Nov 2008
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"...one of the best ever books about advertising - a celebration of the glorious press campaigns by New York agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. Their 1950s and 1960s ads for the original Beetle used irony, self-deprecation, knowing humour and counter-intuition to establish this unlikely car as America's most successful import. All this sophistication and soft-sell in the days when toothpaste was sold by a woman in a tight sweater with starbursts coming off her incisors!" --Stephen Bayley, The Daily Telegraph
"Bill Bernbach invented modern advertising with the Volkswagen campaign. This book charts that success. No student or practitioner of advertising should be without it." --Sir John Hegarty, Bartle Bogle Hegarty
"This is a must have book for anyone who loves great ads and admires great campaigns - if you're a suit on a piece of car business, you'll find every brief you'll ever need to write." --Steve Callan, Creative Brief Magazine
From the Author
When we first decided to put this book together we knew it was going to be a labour of love. We'd all owned Beetles in our day and we'd all been involved in Volkswagen advertising. One of us as a client, one as an art director and one as a copywriter.
It is now almost 20 years since that first edition yet hardly a month has gone by without one of us receiving a request for a copy of it.
In his book "When advertising tried harder." Larry Dobrow hailed the US Volkswagen work as the best campaign of all time. There are many British ad men who would agree with him. The creative revolution of the late fifties and early sixties produced many outstanding individual ads, even sets of ads, but this really was its first campaign, pre-dating Avis by three years or more.
The Art direction was unlike anything that had come before. It had a Bauhaus cleanliness about it. The square, sharp Futura typeface was a perfect choice, it had the no-nonsense air of precision engineering. The simple, almost stark page layout visually undermined the pretentiousness of rival car ads. In 60's Detroit size did matter. Their cars' already lengthy bodies were further elongated in fanciful air brushed illustrations that had a ritzy residence or besotted blonde thrown in for good measure. The copy also represented a radical change. Humanity replaced pomposity. The headlines would frequently ask a question rather than make a claim. They were witty and disarmingly honest. The copy agreed the Beetle was no oil painting, but boy, did it work. This artful admission of a disadvantage made the car's advantages all the more believable. The ads were also an object lesson in single-mindedness. They set out to dramatise one truth about the product at a time, rather than parade an unwieldy list of them.
These features of the campaign were retained so consistently that while any number of creative teams worked on the business, you can't see the joins. It also proved to be an idea and approach that travelled. Many British ads were every bit as good as their Manhattan counterparts, as were a number of French and German concepts.
One of the reasons for the campaign's position in advertising folklore is the sheer length of time that it kept winning awards. Almost 20 years. A degree of long term success that has only been rivalled by the British Hamlet cigar ads, a series that only enjoyed consistent success in one medium, television.
To Volkswagen who made the car and to Doyle Dane Bernbach who made the ads, must go all the credit. We have simply been willing editors. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It turns out the client is a small car manufacturer. So far, no problem.
It turns out the client is a small German car manufacturer. Hmmm... maybe a little tricky.
It turns out the client is a small German car manufacturer whose product was commissioned by Adolph Hitler. Bummer.
'Remember Those Great Volkswagon Ads?' tells the story, through the advertising, of how the Volkswagon was transformed from being Hitler's strange looking car into an American icon. How it went from being a Nazi 'people car' to being the American 'love bug'. And how VW became the household name it is today.
If you doubt the influence advertising has over a nation of consumers, and more importantly, over you, this book will change your mind.
But hey... isn't that what advertising's supposed to do?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
So for lovers of GREAT press ads AND Volkswagens - this book is a "must have".