Nice Car, Nice Car

Have you heard the joke about advertising Volkswagen back in the 50s, attributed to George Lois?
When his agency, Doyle Dane Bernbach, had the account, he said the
challenge was to sell a “Nazi car in a Jewish town.” And so they did.

The ads
that emerged from Doyle Dane Bernbach in the 1950s (no, not the Nazi
era one below top) succeeded in putting the volk in the joke and  taking
the Nazi sting out of das VW; the result was the cute little beetle.

The Swastika
was outlawed in Germany but the VW logo lives on. The beetle ads were
not the only VW successes. The advertisements for the Volkswagen mini
bus (also known as the “Hippie Van”) were equally bright and witty, as
was the emblematic vehicle. Check out the ads below as examples of the
best automobile advertising ever produced. You will agree!! Nein?!!
Yahwol!!
 

 
 
 

 

 


About Steven Heller

Steven Heller is the co-chair of the SVA MFA Designer /Designer as Author + Entrepreneur program, writes a weekly column for The Atlantic online and is the "Visuals" Columnist for the New York Times Book Review. He is also the author of over 160 books on design and visual culture. And he is the 2011 recipient of the Smithsonian National Design Award.

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