VW's Talking Bug Gets Sibling In New Campaign
The ads are also the first for VW to have the company compare VW vehicles directly to competitive brands. The campaign also includes VW's first-ever consumer blog, "TDI Truth or Dare," at www.TDITruthorDare.com -- intended to promote the company's clean-diesel powertrains to skeptical U.S. consumers.
The effort, via agency-of-record Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, extends the company's year-old "Das Auto" campaign with a set of 30-second TV ads, "Meet the Volkswagens," which teams the talking VW Beetle, Max, with another anthropomorphized VW -- a red 1963 VW bus called Bus. The latter uses the voice of actor Thomas Haden Church, who was featured in the wine aficionado film "Sideways." The spots highlight vehicle mileage, fuel efficiency and cost of ownership, and safety.
Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing at Volkswagen of America, says: "We will build our case by sharing facts about real issues that customers care about, debunking myths and doing it in a tongue-in-cheek and entertaining way that is uniquely Volkswagen."
The five spots, set in a California neighborhood of Eichlers - prototypical modernist houses by social visionary Joseph Eichler -- have either one or the other -- or sometimes both -- talking vehicles defending a new VW model to the neighbors who are bragging about their own cars. The ads break Monday night and run on shows including "24", "CSI", "Saturday Night Live" and "Lost."
The ads tout VW Jetta TDI, CC, Tiguan and Routan, and Volkswagen's new Carefree Maintenance program offering no-charge scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.
The blog -- which is intended to promote clean diesel as a fuel-saving and environmentally friendly powertrain -- features videos, a high mileage driving competition for Facebook users called "Tank Wars," and a "diesel finder" and "savings calculator" application.