Volkswagen, one of the most iconic car manufacturers in the world, has a rich history of innovation and design. The company has always focused on creating cars that are both functional and stylish, and in doing so, has changed the way the world thinks about automobiles. One of the key moments in Volkswagen’s history was the «Think Small» campaign, which challenged the norms of the automotive industry and set the stage for a new era of design and innovation.
We’ll explore the «Think Small» campaign and its impact on the automotive industry. From the origins of the campaign to its lasting legacy, this post will give you a thorough understanding of why Volkswagen’s «Think Small» campaign was so revolutionary.
The Origins of the «Think Small» Campaign
The «Think Small» campaign was born out of Volkswagen’s desire to break into the
American market. In the 1950s, American car manufacturers dominated the market, and Volkswagen’s small, European-style cars were seen as unappealing to American consumers. Volkswagen knew that it needed to change American attitudes towards small cars if it was going to compete in the market.
Enter the «Think Small» campaign, which was created by the advertising agency Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). The campaign was launched in 1959 and was designed to challenge the conventions of American car advertising. Instead of showcasing cars as symbols of power and luxury, the «Think Small» campaign positioned Volkswagen as a practical and economical choice for the average consumer.
The Design of the «Think Small» Campaign
The «Think Small» campaign was a departure from the typical car advertising of the time.
The ads were simple and straightforward, with black and white images of Volkswagen’s
Beetle accompanied by witty, humorous copy. The ads played on the perception of the Beetle as a small, underpowered car and turned it into a selling point.
The campaign was also notable for its use of white space, which was a departure from the cluttered and busy ads that were common at the time. The use of white space allowed the Beetle to stand out and emphasized its small size.
The Impact of the «Think Small» Campaign
The «Think Small» campaign was a huge success for Volkswagen. It helped the company break into the American market and establish itself as a major player in the automotive industry. The campaign also had a lasting impact on advertising and design, as it challenged the conventions of the time and set new standards for simplicity and clarity.
The campaign’s impact can still be felt today, as Volkswagen continues to innovate and push the boundaries of automotive design. The Beetle, which was the centerpiece of the
«Think Small» campaign, remains an iconic car and a symbol of Volkswagen’s commitment to innovation and design.
The Legacy of the «Think Small» Campaign
The «Think Small» campaign was more than just a successful advertising campaign – it was a cultural phenomenon that changed the way people thought about cars. The campaign challenged the status quo and paved the way for a new era of automotive design and innovation.
The legacy of the «Think Small» campaign can be seen in the many cars that followed in the Beetle’s footsteps. From the Mini Cooper to the Fiat 500, small cars have become increasingly popular in recent years, and much of this can be traced back to the success of the «Think Small» campaign.
Lessons from the «Think Small» Campaign
The «Think Small» campaign offers valuable lessons for anyone involved in advertising or marketing. It shows the power of simplicity and clarity, and how a well-executed campaign can challenge the norms of an industry and change the way people think.
The campaign also highlights the importance of understanding your target audience.
Volkswagen knew that American consumers were skeptical of small cars, and the «Think Small» campaign was designed to address this perception head-on. By understanding the mindset of its target audience, Volkswagen was able to create a campaign that resonated with them and helped to change their attitudes towards small cars.
In conclusion, Volkswagen’s «Think Small» campaign is a classic example of how a wellexecuted advertising campaign can have a lasting impact on an industry. The campaign challenged the conventions of the time and helped to establish Volkswagen as a major player in the automotive industry.
The legacy of the «Think Small» campaign can still be seen today, as Volkswagen continues to innovate and push the boundaries of automotive design. The campaign offers valuable lessons for anyone involved in advertising or marketing and shows the power of simplicity and clarity.