New ‘BUS’ Character Voiced by Thomas Haden Church Discusses Fuel Efficiency, Safety and Low Cost
Volkswagen of America, Inc. today kicks off the latest installment of its DAS AUTO brand campaign, this time with a collection of 30-second TV spots entitled ‘Meet the Volkswagens.’ The new spots again feature Max the Beetle but also introduce a brand new character named BUS. Voiced by actor Thomas Haden Church, BUS is a talking ruby red 1963 Volkswagen Micro Bus who draws upon Volkswagen’s tradition and heritage while creating clever vignettes that make subtle competitive comparisons in order to highlight key messages like mileage, fuel efficiency, cost of ownership and safety. The campaign will run for 8 weeks and will be supported online and at dealerships nationwide. A first for Volkswagen, the TV spots will direct viewers to Facebook where they will experience information and messaging surrounding the campaign and other brand initiatives.
‘Meet the Volkswagens’ will help to increase the familiarity of our growing product line, while bringing awareness to the true value of owning a Volkswagen,’ said Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing at Volkswagen of America. ‘We will build our case by sharing facts about real issues that customers care about, debunking myths and doing it in a tongue-in-cheek and entertaining way that is uniquely Volkswagen.’
The ‘Meet the Volkswagens’ campaign, developed with partner Crispin Porter + Bogusky, is comprised of five 30-second spots set in a neighborhood of modernist homes designed by the late Joseph Eichler. Each stylish spot will showcase a key Volkswagen model along with Max and/or the new BUS having conversations with the neighbors about competitive models as compared to Volkswagens. This is the first time Volkswagen will use a campaign to directly address its competition. Conversations will focus on key models including the clean diesel Jetta TDI, CC, Tiguan and Routan, as well as Volkswagen’s new Carefree Maintenance program offering no-charge scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.
Actor Thomas Haden Church voices the BUS throughout the campaign series. Best known for roles on the TV sitcom Wings, 2007’s Spiderman 3 and his Academy Award Nomination for the 2004 hit Sideways, Church’s vocal qualities landed him in radio before becoming a success in film and on television. ‘I was excited by the chance to work with an iconic brand like Volkswagen and to develop my character to help make the campaign fun and irreverent,’ said Church.
‘Meet the Volkswagens’ is the latest extension of Volkswagen’s DAS AUTO brand campaign launched in 2008, which introduced the world to Max, the iconic, quirky, talking 1964 black Beetle. The addition of BUS in the new installment is designed to play on the tradition and feel-good nature of the brand while at the same time, educating consumers.
‘We’ve drawn upon more traditional values and imagery for this campaign, particularly in the given economic climate. We want the people to know how well Volkswagen meets the needs of today’s drivers and families, especially when it comes to value, safety and reliability,’ added Ellis.
In addition to the ‘Meet the Volkswagens’ ads, Volkswagen also launches today its first true consumer blog forum called TDI Truth & Dare. Through the forum, Volkswagen will educate its visitors on the truth about clean diesel technology using real facts while also daring them to get involved in the alternative fuel discussion. The site will feature fun videos, blog content on the subject of clean fuel, a high mileage driving competition for Facebook users called ‘Tank Wars,’ and a ‘diesel finder’ and ‘savings calculator’ application.