Volkswagen Brand (Germany)

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Volkswagen is the core brand in the portfolio of Europe's largest automotive manufacturer, whose portfolio now houses more than eight other international passenger car marques. VW still dominates the Volkswagen Group, accounting for more than half of total sales. The brand has proved far more long-lived than its origins as a concept car for the Third Reich might have suggested. Reintroduced after World War II by Germany's post-war occupying authority, it was subsequently adopted as a symbol of the counter-culture revolution of the 1960s. Since then, VW has successfully modified its appeal to become arguably the most "classless" car of the modern age, with a broad appeal to all levels of society, underpinned by a reputation for fine engineering and consistently effective advertising, which features regularly among the winners at awards ceremonies around the globe. As a result, it remains well and truly the "people's car" it was originally designed to be. The brand's reputation took a sizeable hit in the key US market in 2015 as a result of the "Dieselgate" emissions-cheating scandal, but its most important territory is now China, which accounts for more than half of global unit sales.

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Adbrands Company Profiles provide a detailed analysis of the history and current operations of leading advertisers, agencies and brands worldwide, and include a critical summary which identifies key strengths and weaknesses. Adbrands Account Assignments tracks account management for the world's leading brands and companies, including details of which advertising agency handles which accounts in which countries for major markets. The Adbrands Company Profile of Volkswagen summarises the company's history and current operations. Subscribers may access the following website links: 

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Social Media 14th Jan 2019: "Hooky / Moving". These two strong new spots for Volkswagen USA are either the last from incumbent Deutsch or the first from the newly appointed (and newly created) WPP entity VW Partnership. (We're still waiting for credits to arrive). Whichever the case, it marks a welcome change in direction from the rather earnest and sentimental spots Deutsch has recently been delivering for the carmaker in favour of something a bit edgier and more daring. Now of course we wouldn't dream of inventing a deceased relative just to get the kids out of school, but we can't help but admire the cheek of those bad parents who do.

Adbrands Weekly Update 29th Nov 2018: WPP was one of the surprise victors in the global Volkswagen brand creative review. The German auto giant confirmed allocation of its global business to three agencies. DDB - currently one of the brand's lead agencies in multiple markets - will retain the European account, while sister network BBDO keeps hold of Latin America through incumbent Brazilian agency Almap BBDO. Omnicom also keeps Australia and adds South Africa (from WPP's Ogilvy). However, WPP has been awarded the three key North American markets of the US, Canada and Mexico. It is forming a new entity to manage the business. The VW Partnership will include staff from creative agencies David and Taxi in the US and Canada respectively, as well as digital shop Possible, activation specialist Geometry Global and production division Hogarth. Cheil retains the brand in China. Major losers include Interpublic's Deutsch in the US and German indie Grabarz & Partner. (Could the latter end up under Omnicom's umbrella?). Publicis goes home empty-handed.

Adbrands Social Media 9th Oct 2018: "Too Powerful for TV". DDB Australia's latest ad for the Volkswagen Amarok truck isn't perhaps their best, but it's still enormously entertaining, if only for the supremely "meta" self-awareness about what you can and can't show in a commercial. We're not sure that it will work for industry outsiders but anyone in the biz can have a good chuckle about over-enthusiastic directors and over-rigorous compliance overseers.

Adbrands Weekly Update 20th Sep 2018: Volkswagen is to end production of its iconic Beetle compact car next year after more than 80 years. It was the company's first ever car, originally designed in pre-war Nazi Germany as a "people's car" for the new regime, but not put into full production until the post-war era as part of the Allied attempt to restart German industry. It arguably achieved its greatest success in the US in the late 1960s, most notably as a result of an iconic ad campaign that established Doyle Dane Bernbach as one of America's top creative agencies. The original Beetle stopped being sold in the US in 1979 though it was still produced in other global markets. A new design was launched in 1998 as the New Beetle. Separately this week, Deutsch LA is reported by AdAge to have been eliminated from the global Volkswagen creative review, which is being fought out between Omnicom (whose DDB already holds the account in most markets), WPP and Publicis. Interpublic-owned Deutsch had managed the business in the US since 2009.

Adbrands Weekly Update 21st Jun 2018: Volkswagen has confirmed an upcoming review of global creative for its eponymous passenger car business, with the aim of consolidating duties in a series of regional hubs. All the major marketing groups except Havas are thought to be preparing a pitch. The business is mainly concentrated at present at Omnicom (DDB primarily, and also BBDO in Brazil), but WPP's Ogilvy has the business in South Africa. The big losers will be independent local agencies who will not be able to take part. The most seriously affected is German indie Grabarz & Partner, a lead VW agency in its domestic market for the past 17 years.

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