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:
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.
Adbrands Weekly Update 18th Apr 2018: The appointment of new Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has also prompted a restructuring of the group's global marketing relationships. VW brand CMO Jochen Sengpiehl called a global review with the aim of establishing five regional agency "powerhouses" to handle all local marketing requirements for the core passenger car brand. Each of these five dedicated agencies would consolidate personnel from multiple agencies within an individual marketing group; but not necessarily, he said, from the same marketing group in each region. Currently, VW works primarily with Omnicom (either DDB or BBDO) on creative in Europe and Latin America and China, but with Interpublic's Deutsch in the US. There are also a number of independent agencies on the roster, including Grabarz & Partner in Germany. Omnicom's PHD has global media. The five hubs would cover Europe, North America, South America, China and Rest of the World.
Adbrands Weekly Update 17th Aug 2017: Volkswagen is making a major commitment to football sponsorship in Europe. It will take over from Hyundai as official auto partner of European football association UEFA from January 2018. The contract will last for at least four years, and will include the 2020 European Football Championship, which for the first time will be played across 13 different countries. VW is also set to become official sponsor of Germany's national team and the DFB football association from 2019, replacing Mercedes-Benz, which has held that contract for more than 40 years.
Adbrands Weekly Update 13th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "RoboBoy". Clearly the way to a Dutch girl's heart is by becoming a real-life Transformer. This cute campaign for Volkswagen is from McGarryBowen's newly acquired outpost in Amsterdam, Achtung! It should provide considerable inspiration for parents seeking the ultimate fancy dress outfit for their offspring, but we're wondering if some form of Transformers royalty deal was necessary with Paramount and Hasbro.
Adbrands Weekly Update 6th Jul 2017: Ads of the Week: "The Button". Adam&Eve DDB had plenty of fun devising a collection of cinematic pastiches to demonstrate the unholy power of The Big Button. But when it comes to the new Volkswagen Golf, the button has quite a different effect altogether. It's a cute idea, and the ad was clearly a blast to make, and just as much fun to watch. However, we can't help but feel it's also oddly unsatisfying, like a delicious Chinese meal that leaves you feeling hungry a hour later. It doesn't really feel like it's saying much (or indeed anything at all) about the brand.
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