In amongst all the concept vehicles and new models on Volkswagen's stands at last month's Frankfurt Auto Show was the carmaker's new ad campaign, which can be surmised by just two words – "Das Auto" (German for "The Car"). The hope is that the ads, which have only be launched in Germany thus far, will brainwash you into thinking 'VW' when you think of a car.

Before you brush this aside as just some marketing nonsense, consider what Coca-Cola is to cola soft drinks, Hoover is to vacuums and Kleenex is to tissues. "You don't ask for brown lemonade, you ask for Coke," explained one VW spokesman. Yeah, that doesn't sound refreshing at all.

The other benefit of the new slogan is that it's so simple, it will work with roughly the same effect in most other languages. VW's previous tagline was "Aus Liebe zum Automobil," ("For the love of the automobile") but the same message was not being conveyed when translated into other languages, especially Chinese. "Auto works around the world," the spokesman boasted, "so the question is whether it will be just 'Auto' or whether we say 'the Auto.' "

Whatever it turns out to be, expect to see the ads beaming across TVs and billboards around the globe wherever VWs are sold in the near future.

[Source: Automotive News, sub. req'd]