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Volkswagen Uses Hippies, Old Models to Sell New Warranty

Volkswagen Uses Hippies, Old Models to Sell New Warranty

Volkswagen is leveraging hippies to help tell the story of its new, longer warranty program. Ironically, the commercial touting their new vehicle warranty features nothing but VW’s from the 1960’s. And hippies.

Entitled “Rain,” the new spot is a throwback to the days when the Volkswagen brand was a cultural icon. Naturally, the spot features a 1966 VW Microbus and 1961 Beetle in a Woodstock-like environment. There’s a lot of beads, Bohemian style clothing and rain.

In description the spot sounds like a modern day hipster event, which is sort of accurate. The scenes depicted are almost too sober and clean to be accurate renditions of the 1960’s, but most of folks VW wants as buyers today don’t remember the 1960’s anyway.

What does matter is the substance at the end of the spot, which announces the “People First Warranty.” The new warranty increases VW’s bumper-to-bumper warranty to six years or 72,000 miles, among the highest in the industry.

The ad is an odd way to roll out a new vehicle warranty program, but VW’s marketing team says they are aiming to remind consumers why they loved the Volkswagen brand back in the 1960’s. Basically, VW is trying to tug at the emotions of buyers; which it says, it’s buyers are kind and free-spirited like the decade they’re clinging to in the spot.

Will this campaign work? It’s hard to say at this point. Although VW is saying the new warranty and subsequent hippie-laden ad campaign are not responses to reputation damage from its diesel scandal, it’s hard to see any other reasoning behind it.



About Nick Saporito

AutoVerdict Senior Editor Nick Saporito began writing about cars at age 13. Nick ran a couple of automotive enthusiast sites for several years, before taking some time off to focus on his career and education. By day he's a marketing executive in the telecom world and by night he hangs out here at AV. You'll find him focusing on tech, design and the industry's future.
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  1. Andrew_L
    But, I'm not sure how this will resonate with GenX and Millenials.

    There's this whole push for stuff from that era. When I went back home in the summer and was cleaning out my parents basement I took back some old sound systems that were my dads. One was a vintage 70s Sansui radio receiver it goes for big bucks online now. I brought it to a shop in St. Pete and they cleaned it up and tightened up all the connections on the inside and sent me over to their record warehouse to get some vinyls for the turn table that went with it. The guy there was telling me the the 70s unit is way more in demand than the 80s unit I have because of the look also that young people were buying vinyls like crazy. Old is new again.
    I kind of get the premise: these old VWs were famous for being very, very durable. Many a boomer bought a used Bug or variant and was able to keep in on the road for minimal money. But, I'm not sure how this will resonate with GenX and Millenials. I'm the former and all my formative experiences with 80s and 90s VWs were that they were fun to drive, refined for their class -- but had a nasty tendency towards breaking trim, weird electrical issues and theft (back in the day, thieves used to be able to punch through a weak spot in the door on Golf/Jettas and just open the lock. It was common to see cars with black aftermarket reinforcements under the exterior door handle!).

    Point is -- I associate VWs with a lot of things, but reliability isn't one of them. And, harkening back to 50 years ago doesn't exactly make me confident in the new cars -- it reminds me that it's been basically my whole lifetime since VWs were known for reliability!
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