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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]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      funny comments one and all..but do any of you actually work for a multi billion dollar conglomerate?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "You don't ask for brown lemonade, you ask for Coke," - and if I want a lemon I ask for a VW. Brilliant!
        • 7 Years Ago
        HAHAHA!!! Wannabe German enginered. It's funny how VW thinks they are on the same level as BMW and MB.
        " the car" ......
        • 7 Years Ago
        Now that's funny.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Ah hahahahahaha
        • 7 Years Ago
        Autoblog failed to mention that most companies have completely different marketing schemes in the US. In Europe and many other markets around the world, VW is like Toyota is here. It simply wouldn't make sense for them to boast that they are "the car" in the US, but in say Germany, where if I'm not mistaken 30% of cars sold are VWs, it makes complete sense.
      • 7 Years Ago
      How 'bout they use this slogan?

      VW - You think it's a car?
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW -> Das Lemon, Das Crap
      • 7 Years Ago
      Now, for a tall frothy cup of brown lemonade....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not to be confused with Le Car?
        • 7 Years Ago
        took the words right out of my keyboard
      • 7 Years Ago
      They are also the #4 automaker in the world :D

      I liked the older ads. "It's not a car, it's a VW."
      • 7 Years Ago
      I adored the Arnold work for VW, and the CP+B stuff has no doubt been innovative, but VW has some serious quality issues (and corresponding brand equity issues) to content with at this point. While I don't see "Das Auto" making it to the US market, it will take more than eine slogankurzschluß to fix their current tailspin.
        • 7 Years Ago
        rv's line was better
      • 7 Years Ago
      That VW spokesperson has obviously never lived in Ireland, or he would know that brown lemonade exists (along with red lemonade), and is not the same as cola.
      If I asked for brown lemonade and was given a Coke, I'd send it back.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Jesus, People... For me it's been incredible how most autoblog readers ridiculed the latest VW press releases (e.g. VW wants to be the world's no 1 regarding quantity and EBIT...)

      Remeber folks, the US is *not* VWs primary market. They can't leave it behind, but so far...

      Some facts:

      1. VW (including the other brands) is by far the best selling manufacturer in europe and (imho) will remain so in the coming years

      2. VW is by far the best selling manufacturer in China, a market that will explode in the coming years (VW will sell 800k there this year)

      3. The people running VW now (Winterkorn and somehow the mighty Piech) are no amateurs - indeed they've proven to be very successful lately.

      4. VW is quite profitable these days and announced that the coming models will have substantially higher margins (which will help somehow)

      5. Read the market/stock forums, many believe that VW might be buying a bigger competitor in the coming years

      Honestly... I do believe that VW will be the No. 1 in ten years, and the current growth in their stock price seems to say others as well...

        • 7 Years Ago
        VW is by far the best selling manufacturer in China, a market that will explode in the coming years (VW will sell 800k there this year)

        VW is not by far the leader, in fact its debatable if they are the leader at all.

        In 2005 GM passed VW in sales and in 2006 GM sold 872,271 vehicles (268,642 from Shanghai GM; 105,444 from Shanghai GM Dongyue Motor; 38,030 from Shanghai GM Shenyang; and 460,155 from SAIC-GM-Wuling Auto)

        VW sold 694,406 in 2006 (345,318 from FAW-VW; and 349,088 from Shanghai VW) but VW doesn't count the SAIC-GM-Wuling number because they are "mini cars" or actuall mini-mini vans.

        Beside that, the market will get even more cometitive with Ford growing over 80% along with Honda at over 70% from the year before. So while there will be growth more and more companies will be going for it so t will he harder to grow your sales like in the past. VW fell asleep since they had almost exlcusive rights to the Chinese market during the 80's and now in about 10 years GM caught them and passed them.

        sources: Automotive News 2007 Guide to China's Auto Market

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