PR Brushup

The People's Car?

A future VW man.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    Europe’s biggest carmaker is rolling out new, more emotional marketing material to coincide with the recall of affected VW vehicles, which began last week.

  • Facts


    • Volkswagen plans to spend $7.3 billion to rectify the emissions issues.
    • VW said over 11 million cars were involved in the falsified emission reports.
    • Over $7 billion was set aside to deal with the costs relating to Dieselgate.
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When Volkswagen bade farewell to its long-running and self-confident advertising slogan “Das Auto” in late 2015, many observers saw it as a sign of humility. After all, the emissions scandal has decimated its business since September, and nothing but bad news has been coming since from the United States.

What company would go on strutting its stuff with a claim like “Das Auto” in such a situation?

Well, the secret is out. Now we know what the brand gurus at Volkswagen were thinking when they dropped a slogan that used to be the envy of its rivals. VW this week launched a new advertising campaign.

Two statements are key to the carmaker’s latest brand campaign: “It’s about more than a car. It’s about a partner for life.” A one-minute video of a young boy (pictured) follows in a time lapse. The footage shows a boy with red curly hair in the back seat of a car holding a cuddly toy, then behind the steering wheel next to his pretty girlfriend and future wife, and finally as a father-to-be. Volkswagen is always on hand, goes the message.

It’s a bold statement in view of Volkswagen’s financial troubles, which only continued Friday. The beleaguered carmaker said it will delay the release of its annual figures for 2015 and postpone an annual meeting with shareholders as it struggles to come to terms with the costs of the Dieselgate scandal.

The German carmaker was supposed to release its financial figures on March 11 and hold its annual shareholder meeting on April 21. A new date would be set “as soon as possible,” VW said in a statement. Sources within the company said both dates were likely to be pushed back by four to six weeks.

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