In a cleverly crafted statement, Tim Ellis, VW's VP of Marketing, said,
"We are re-evaluating all areas of our business, and after careful considerations have decided to take the necessary steps to ensure we have the right agency partner in place."
In a nice gesture, the current agency was invited to defend their position
. They politely said, "Um. Thanks. But fuck off."
What a tough gig for any agency, honestly. You will have a very lofty goal to meet, in that
"Volkswagen has embarked on a mission to significantly grow our business here in this market. Our goal of rapidly increasing our volume in a mature market requires the Volkswagen brand to evolve into a more relevant mainstream choice."
I like what CP+B did with VW. The talking old Beetle with the German accent was cute. The tag "Get Your Autobahn On" was inventive. And for my money, the "Un-pimp Your Ride
" spots were awesome. You can't go wrong with the evil, eye-transplant doctor from "Minority Report" and a sexy assistant.
Now, feast your eyes on this image for a few seconds and then, stay with me.
I'm guessing CP+B's very noble attempts didn't sell Volkswagens. Not even Brooke Shields' ridiculous efforts
to move the "Routan" helped. (What is it with these VW names?)
Gone are the days when VW had pricing on its side.
VW no longer lives up to its brand's very translation: "The People's Car." It's now an overpriced near luxury line
. If they want to be a "relevant mainstream choice," they're going to have to build another people's car. And I'm not talking about that re-issue of the Beetle. Bring back the real
Beetle, with super-competitive pricing. (They were still making them as late as 2003
in Mexico, so all the tools are in place.)
Volkswagen is a far cry from, and secretly envy of, (in a German way) BMW, Porsche and Mercedes, who together fom the Holy Saxon Trinity of Awesome Bavarian Machinery. "The Three" have ruled the Austrian, Stuttgart-region's, Hyper-Engineered, Super-Deluxe, Custom-Luxury market since the end of the War to End All Wars. To the "Big Three of Germany," VW is a child; Hitler's failed experiment in Nationalistic Socialistic Capitalistic Materialistic Industrialistic Carmakerism. (Volkwagen's prettier step-sister, Audi, shares 4th billing.)
So, short of the Beetle. maybe VW re-issues the eternally cool van (some would call it a "bus") with Safari WindowsTM,
pictured above. Or maybe, VW, you can get your much-revered "German EngineeringTM
" reputation busy crafting an affordable electric vehicle.
"German" was about all CP+B could come up with. So, maybe VW should continue in that vein and live up to the hype. Kick The Big Three at their game, yo.
(And for the love of Phaëton, son of Helios, stop with the retarded naming tradition
Cute isn't going to fix VW. Neither will sexy. Whatever agency wins this account will be trying to defend it in two years, after Tim Ellis has been sacked and the new VP of Marketing is charged with the impossible task of "evolving the brand into a more relevant mainstream choice."
In other words: "VW needs to remake itself." And they do that by going all the way back to their ugly roots: a people's car.
I'm just telling you what most agencies won't, VW. If any of this resonates with you, consider this my pitch. I'll find an art director in short order. We'll redo how it's done.
Work with me here, People's Car.
The above ideas are copyrighted, henceforth, from this day, in the Year of Our Lord, Two Thousand and Nine, and are therefore safe from theft or misapropriation by the VW People or Their Lawyers.
Marked herein by the timestamp of Google. Forever and ever and ever in digital eternity. Amen.
Labels: agency pitches, auto advertising, car makers, CPB, New Business Development, recession, volkswagen, vw