Okay, it’s been a few months since I last chose an ad of the week, but this is a good one to get us started again. Volkswagen has always done a pretty good job of telling stories with their marketing. Now that we’ve entered an age where everyone needs to make interesting ads that tell a story in order to capture consumers who have so many ways to avoid advertising, Volkswagen has stepped up their game.
In this ad, “America,” you first see an older woman packing a suitcase as you hear her voiceover reading a letter from her departed husband. His note says that, ever since arriving here, he always wanted to see this great country of ours – so his last wish is that they do it for him as a family. The rest of the spot shows three generations – grandkids, parents and grandma – as the travel in their Volkswagen Alta from New York to the California coast. It’s all accompanied by Simon & Garfunkel’s “America”
The nice thing is that they let little quiet moments of discovery along the way tell the story. Just a snippet of conversation here and there to punctuate the music and images that carry the spot. It’s quiet and somber, yet warm and uplifting. Towards the end, Grandma wishes her husband could have been there with them and the little girl laughs about how he’d be stuck in the back between the boys. It ends with the family on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific ocean at sunset, clasping the urn we presume carries Grandpa’s remains to be delivered into the sea. Granted, I’m an old softy, but I have to admit the first time I saw this on air, I got a little misty at this point, having lost both my parents by now.
It’s a good story most of us can relate to in some way or another. And it’s well told and well crafted. Take a look for yourself.
Volkswagen Atlas – America
Thanks to our Chief Creative Officer, Mark Simon, for the suggestion. If you have an ad you’d like to put up for Ad of the Week, just suggest it in the comments here or drop us a note on one our our social channels.
Mike McClure, Looking for America