New Volkswagen Campaign Puts Focus on People

  • First visible step in a new mindset
  • Brand Board Member Jürgen Stackmann: “Return to strengthening the close emotional bond between brand, customer and product.”

Volkswagen is launching a new 360-degree campaign in numerous markets over the coming days and weeks. The aim of the campaign is to strengthen trust in the brand and put the focus back on people. “Behind every car we sell there is not just a customer, there is also a story. An amazing number of people all over the world associate our vehicles with memories, because a Volkswagen is a part of their lives. In other words, Volkswagen was, and is, ‘the people’s car'”, explained Jürgen Stackmann, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand responsible for Sales, Marketing and After-Sales.

He commented that this was just the first visible step, because the whole company was currently in a process of transition. Stackmann continued: “We have lost credibility and trust in recent months. We are now doing everything we can to win that back.” He explained that the recall of the affected diesel vehicles under the first approval issued by the Federal Vehicle and Transport Authority had been successfully started and was now being implemented step by step.

Stackmann went on to say that the company was again putting the focus more clearly on people, on customers, with this new communication campaign.” Traditionally, there is a close emotional bond between the Volkswagen brand, its customers and our products. That is the foundation of the Volkswagen brand. We want to harness that strength and reinforce that bond. We want to make our customers’ lives better with our innovative vehicles, new technologies and our services. Volkswagen is a part of people’s lives. And we want to stay a part of their lives”, Stackmann said.

The new brand campaign marks a fundamental change in customer communications at the Volkswagen brand. While communications previously concentrated mainly on vehicles, design and technological innovations, the focus is now returning to people, customers and their relationship with the products and services. This is also reflected by the brand claim. With this campaign, ‘Volkswagen’ replaces the former claim ‘Das Auto’. Stackmann commented: “Volkswagen does not need to add anything else to the claim because the name already expresses everything about our relationship with customers. Volkswagen is ‘the people’s car’.”

This is a 360-degree campaign for TV, print and online media. The TV spot gives an insight into the life of a central character, sharing their encounters with various Volkswagen models along the way and highlighting special moments in their lives. Anders-Sundt Jensen, Head of Marketing Communications at the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand, said: “This is an emotional campaign highlighting that the Volkswagen brand and its products are part of people’s lives across generations. It centers on images from real life, images of people, of our customers – the kind of images you might find anywhere, anytime, all over the world.”

The advertising motifs also echo this approach. Here, too, the focus is on people. The motifs address various needs along with issues such as values like safety, quality and the future. As Jensen commented: “Similar to the TV spot, the motifs create an emotional bond between people and cars that goes beyond the meaning of the car in the traditional sense.” A web special bundles the campaign online while at the same time taking it into the virtual world. The direct link to social media channels rounds off the 360 degree approach.

The campaign kicks off in the UK, Spain and Portugal in early February. Austria, Switzerland and the home market of Germany follow in the same month. The campaign will then be successively rolled out in numerous other European markets and the rest of the world from March.

The campaign is being realized together with the agency DDB.