VW celebrates its bold consumers

Who: Volkswagen, with Taxi/Type 1 for creative and strategy, Soft Citizen for production (directed by Air Castle); Outsider and Studio Feather for post-production; OSO for music; Touché for media.

What: “A Bold Choice,” a new campaign for VW’s Atlas SUV that reinforces its positioning as a brand for people who aren’t afraid to make unexpected choices and stand out from the crowd.

When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running as a 60-second TV ad, supported by out-of-home, digital, social and CRM.

Why: VW thinks it’s a good thing that you won’t see a lot of Atlas’s on the roads or in driveways, and is celebrating those folks who buy an Atlas for being bold. “Atlas drivers understand that popular rarely means better, and that selecting something original is generally a much better choice,” said Volkswagen Canada’s marketing director, Lynne Piette.

How: The campaign is anchored by a TV spot that begins with a man going all-out to recreate an over-the-top ’80s look of crop-top muscle shirt, some almost-too-short jean cutoffs and a mullet, all completed by a dark spray tan.

He then walks boldly out into the yard and, far from being embarrassed by the look, leans up against his VW Atlas so his amused wife can take his photo.

From there the man, his wife and kids are off to his dad’s 70th party, where the portrait is presented as a birthday gift, and the reason for the comical outfit is revealed: it matches a photo of the father leaned up against his own VW decades earlier when mullets, short jean shorts and muscle tops were cool, not ironic.

As father and son look proudly upon the portraits side-by-side, a super appears on screen to connect the story to the brand: “Bold choices come naturally with the new VW Atlas.”

“The new VW Atlas really appeals to those who see value in the unconventional,” added Mike Richardson, creative director at Taxi/Type1. “So, we wanted to be bold in our approach, and in our storytelling.”

Outdoor included a contextual execution outside one popular Toronto shopping mall that poked fun at those who drive more common SUVs, while executions near other auto dealerships specializing in German cars suggested there are “more interesting” German SUVs available.

David Brown