• Apr 3, 2008
When Volkswagen reintroduced the Rabbit to the U.S., it claimed that it was drawing on enthusiasts' emotional connection with the Rabbit name, and it wants to draw on even more of that pop culture history with its latest advertising and marketing campaign. VW is referring to its new campaign as "DAS AUTO", or literally as "the car." A black 1964 Beetle called Max will be the star of the campaign as he it converses with such varied celebrities as Heidi Klum, David Hasselhoff (!) and Leonard Nimoy, among others.
According to Tim Ellis, the newly-appointed vice president of marketing at Volkswagen of America, "Max personifies Volkswagen's American consumers and lets them know how Volkswagen understands and responds to what the people want." Were people asking for talking VW Beetles? We're not sure, but we'll soon be finding out; Max and the DAS AUTO campaign will begin in earnest starting very soon, kicking off five new model launches: the Tiguan compact SUV, Routan minivan, CC, clean diesel Jetta TDI and Jetta SportsWagen.

[Source: Volkswagen]
New Spokesperson Reintroduces Brand to American Consumers With Message of
'It's What the People Want'

AUBURN HILLS, Mich., April 2, 2008 -- Volkswagen of America
announced today the launch of a new advertising and marketing

campaign called DAS AUTO, literally translated to "the car." Part of a
global brand platform, DAS AUTO will build on Volkswagen's unique place in
pop culture through its message of It's What the People Want.

The campaign, which launches today, will introduce the world to Max, an
iconic, quirky, talking 1964 black Beetle. DAS AUTO kicks off with an
extensive targeted television, print and online advertising effort, as well
as integration into social media channels. In each spot, Max has candid
conversations with notable figures from pop culture in a talk show setting.
The discussions focus on Volkswagen's intuition on what it is the people
want. Guests include supermodel Heidi Klum, pop and TV personality David
Hasselhoff, Star Trek's Leonard Nimoy, NASA astronaut Richard Searfoss,
music-sharing innovator Shawn Fanning and former basketball coach Bob
Knight.

"Volkswagen has always occupied a unique and positive place in both
American car culture and American popular culture. And the brand is as
relevant today as it has ever been," said Tim Ellis, vice president of
marketing at Volkswagen of America. "Max personifies Volkswagen's past,
present and vision for the future. Through him, we will reconnect with
American consumers and let them know how Volkswagen understands and
responds to what the people want."

The American public will first meet the campaign brand icon, Max, in a
series of teaser ads in major market daily newspapers that will seed him
and introduce his knowledge of what the people want. To complement the
print ads, an interactive polling program will simultaneously rollout on
vw.com. A collection of thirty-second television spots will follow
throughout the month of April.

DAS AUTO and Max will be integrated directly into all aspects of the
company's business in 2008, including support for five new model launches
-- the Tiguan compact SUV, Routan minivan, CC, clean diesel Jetta TDI and
Jetta SportsWagen -- and the existing lineup. Max will be the centerpiece
in the introductory phase and then will take a backseat to form the
connective tissue for all other product communications. The campaign is the
first under the new direction of Tim Ellis, who took the helm in January.

"DAS AUTO builds upon our unique position as one of the world's leading
and most culturally-relevant automakers," added Ellis. "Through DAS AUTO,
we are reaffirming the brand's commitment to bring innovative, responsible
and value-driven auto-making to the people."

Already this year, Volkswagen has delivered what the people want
through its products and recent announcements.

-- The people want to be safe: In March 2008, Volkswagen officially
became the first non-luxury car manufacturer to provide an Electronic
Stabilization Program (ESP) as standard equipment across its entire
2009 offering -- a full three years ahead of the national mandate.
ESP works in conjunction with Anti-lock Braking and other safety
systems and could save over 10,000 lives per year according to the
National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration (NHTSA).
-- The people want to be kind to the environment: In mid-2008,
Volkswagen will introduce the paradigm-shifting TDI Clean Turbo Diesel
engine option in its 2008 Jetta sedan and SportsWagen models, which is
the first 50-state legal diesel engine to provide extremely high fuel
efficiency and class-leading carbon emission reductions.
-- The people want to celebrate their individuality: 2008 marks the 10th
Anniversary of the New Beetle, a pop culture icon, which began selling
in the U.S. in March 1998.

For more information about Volkswagen and the DAS AUTO campaign, please
visit http://www.vw.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 21 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The product is the product; the dogs will either eat it or they won't.

      But Max VW is cute as a Bug. Sucked me right in; took the stupid poll, read the results, like a complete idiot.

      When there is a VW that's competing with Hyundai and not Lexus again I might consider buying one, but at least the campaign has appeal.
        • 6 Years Ago
        When it comes to most cars, you and I both know marketing/advertising has a large part to do with sales.
      • 6 Years Ago
      yeah, listening to a german voice from a car reminds me of the Dr. Z campaign. NO ONE wanted to listen to a German selling unreliable cars then, I don't think the celebs will help now either. I think the Sign Then Drive ads and the Get Safe ads do the job. How does showing a classic bug help people realize there are new cars coming?
      • 6 Years Ago
      For the curious, I've archived a few of the online ads from this new campaign in my VW gallery. If you see more around the web, send them my way!

      http://adverlicio.us/volkswagen_vw_what_the_people_want_728x90

      http://adverlicio.us/volkswagen_vw_the_people_want_300x250
      • 6 Years Ago
      I just dropped it like it's hot.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Isn't this what Pontiac has been doing the last month? "Pontiac is CAR"
      • 6 Years Ago
      "Max personifies Volkswagen's American consumers and lets them know how Volkswagen understands and responds to what the people want."

      What people want is simple - a reliable Volkswagen.
      • 6 Years Ago
      So 'It's What the People Want', huh?...
      I wanted a 2 door Rabbit until I discovered I can't get it with a moonroof, or XM radio, or a stereo upgrade, or a center armrest for the driver... Need I go on? After seeing the LACK of amenities on the 2 door Rabbit, it's clear Volkswagen doesn't have a clue what people want!

      • 6 Years Ago
      Is this the ad campaign I've been seeing in the Wall Street Journal with a black Beetle with a microphone in front of it, saying the most random things? If so, it would explain a lot.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's been in the SF Chronicle, too. That's what I thought, too, but they sure are taking a while to set the whole thing up...
      • 6 Years Ago
      I was looking forward to buying a Tiguan with a manual transmission.

      VOA rep informed me at the NY auto show that no Tiguans would be offered with a manual. My dealer also confirms this.

      Drivers Wanted? I think not.
        • 6 Years Ago
        An old VW talking to third-rate celebs.

        This has Fail! written all over it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      das Auto is fine and dandy but how about some "das Quality Control" and "das Corporate Customer Service".

      till then, i'm "das Never Again".
      • 6 Years Ago
      That new tagline reminds me of Nazis.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Do all German things remind you of Nazis?
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