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Then, Now, Always: Volkswagen Releases European Ad Campaign

Volkswagen has launched a new ad campaign in Europe that seeks to go back to its roots as the “people’s car” and harken

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Then, Now, Always: Volkswagen Releases European Ad Campaign
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Volkswagen has launched a new ad campaign in Europe that seeks to go back to its roots as the “people’s car” and harken to the role the brand has played in so many lives and families.

Created by DDB in Berlin, the new commercial (“Then. Now. Always.”) shows the role that Volkswagen vehicles have played in the life of a little red-haired boy who sees his future son at the beginning, and then relies on various VWs until he sees the past vision become today’s reality.

It’s a heartwarming, simple premise. A young boy, at first shown in the back seat of his father’s car, grows up and starts a family of his own, with each stage in his life shown in a different Volkswagen car. The message, as a voiceover notes, is that the Volkswagen brand is more than a car—”it’s a lifelong companion.”

The campaign comes as the automaker is continuing to try to turn around its reputation and right its venerable brand, even as the shadow of Dieselgate looms large. And hey, a winsome lad has helped the brand win hearts and minds this time of year before with one of the most iconic commercials of all time—why not again?

VW Group CEO Matthias Mueller and his team are to trying to wrap up the diesel emissions scandal in a way they hope is beyond reproach while also trying to reposition the company for a future beyond the crisis.

Still, Dieselgate issues keep pressing. For one thing, the world’s biggest sovereign wealth fund, Norway’s, which holds a 1.2 percent stake in the company, has just criticized VW’s ownership structure, saying that it concentrates too much power with the Porsche-Piech family and puts minority shareholders at a disadvantage amid the emissions crisis.

Mueller has seen former head of group quality control Frank Tuchleave the company as he continues to overhaul senior management. What’s more, VW may be open to listing its truck business publicly or pursuing acquisition as ways to separate that unit from the badly tarnished automobile business.

And when it comes to America, where VW arguably has more business to take care of than anywhere else, the attorney that Mueller appointed head of the company’s claims fund in the US, Kenneth Feinberg,told the press that Volkswagen will offer “generous” compensation packages to the roughly 600,000 owners of affected diesel vehicles whose emissions are over the legal limit.

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