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.