Volkswagen has been winning everyone over with all kinds of humor - from slapstick to self-deprecation - since they came onto the advertising scene 80 years ago. They're the king of wit, and they have the ads to show for it.
Here are the 10 most brilliant VW commercials:
1. Uncle Max’s Last Will and Testament
It’s impossible to list all the things we love about this ad, but we’ll say that it’s proof that Volkswagen was always ahead of its time. The dark humor in this late 60s commercial is something akin to a Wes Anderson film. This is such a clever way to deliver the message that getting a Volkswagen is a sensible decision. Little did anyone know that vintage Beetles would eventually become collectibles. Uncle Max would be proud!
2. An Old Lady Selling a Golf
This Amsterdam commercial plays on the stereotype that elderly folks drive and maintain their cars exceptionally well. It’s not even a minute long and it still managed to convey the reliability and durability of the VW Golf. Simply brilliant.
3. Un-Pimp Your Ride
It's been years since Volkswagen’s memorable parody of the show Pimp My Ride aired on TV, and people are still talking about it. We can’t think of a better way to convey the message that a stock VW is superior to any pimped out ride. Volkswagen’s advertising team deserves a gold medal for that commercial alone. Ve love zis.
4. Man in a Ski Mask
Volkswagen announced the Beetle Convertible in February 2013. What better way to do it than to show a few guys who couldn’t wait until summer to put the top down?
5. Get In. Get Happy.
Featured as a 2013 Super Bowl commercial, this feel-good ad cleverly shows the reason behind the guy’s happy-go-lucky nature: the mere fact that he owns a VW Beetle.
6. The Force
The reason companies spend so much money on Super Bowl ads is because they know everyone’s going to be talking about them the next day. Sometimes it’s not about the product itself but more about the story. Volkswagen understood this, and in 2011 they aired this Super Bowl ad to announce the new Passat. This simple, endearing, and memorable commercial earned a spot on many “best Super Bowl commercials” lists.
7. Crying Baby
When Volkswagen released the start-stop system, which saves you fuel by automatically switching off the engine when your car comes to a standstill, they wanted to demonstrate that it wouldn’t affect the VW’s smooth ride. What better way to do that than with a baby who cries every time the car stops at traffic lights?
8. Singing in the Rain
We’re pretty sure Gene Kelly would’ve gotten a kick out of this 2006 UK-based VW commercial. VW’s decision to open it with an updated version of Gene Kelly’s famous 1952 Singing in the Rain performance and then end it with an updated version of the Golf GTI was nothing short of genius.
9. Snowplow Driver
This commercial not only answered the question everyone was probably wondering but also took home the gold at the 1964 Cannes Lions festival. We can’t say we’re surprised.
10. Mr. Jones vs. Mr. Krempler
Here’s another oldie but a goodie. We’re impressed by how VW managed to use one simple shot to drive home the point that their cars were affordable and reliable. Are you keeping up with the Kremplers?
If you enjoyed the brilliant VW commercials on this list, you’ll love these vintage VW ads!