Volkswagen picks up major advertising gong in Cannes

Volkswagen - 2009 Advertiser of the Year

At the recent Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival Volkswagen was named “Advertiser of the Year”. From the Cannes Lions press release Volkswagen was awarded the gong for “their continued inspiring and innovative marketing”.

The “Advertiser of the Year” is a special award that sits outside of the regular categories and is the highest honour in the advertising industry.

Volkswagen has been making its mark in the automotive advertising world for years, with the “Think Small” campaign (shown above) turning the genre, literally, on its head. The “Singing Dog” commercial was awarded Car Ad of the Year in an online poll last year. And “The Fight” has certainly attracted its fair share of attention in recent months.

More ad samples, print and TVCs, can be seen after the jump.

Volkswagen - 2009 Advertiser of the Year

Volkswagen Named “Advertiser of the Year” in Cannes

Jury honors trailblazing role in car advertising

At the 56th International Advertising Festival “Cannes Lions 2009”, Europe’s largest automaker was presented with its first Lion in the “Advertiser of the year” category – thus receiving the highest accolade in the advertising industry. Volkswagen has been presented with around 150 “advertising Oscars” in Cannes since 1961. “By honouring Volkswagen today we are honouring a company that has been a symbol of creative and innovative marketing in the automobile industry for decades,” Terry Savage, Festival Chairman, said during the award ceremony.

Commenting on the award Christian Klingler, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen brand with responsibility for sales, marketing and after sales, said: “Volkswagen is “Das Auto”: going forward, we will continue to present our brand claim in the form of outstanding creative campaigns. We are very proud of this award and would also like to thank our agencies DDB Worldwide and Almap for their partnership and cooperation as well as so many creative concepts.”

Cannes Lions Festival has frequently commended Volkswagen’s advertising for its innovative and inspiring approach. At the end of the 1950s Volkswagen set a new trend in advertising with the “Think Small” Beetle campaign in the USA. For the first time, a product was not superelevated, but given a down-to-earth portrayal with a clear reference to customer benefit. This campaign was instrumental in cementing Volkswagen’s image in the USA.

A further highlight was the German TV campaign for the Beetle called “Der Käfer – er läuft und läuft und läuft…” launched in 1968 which Volkswagen used to democratize mobility and thereby also convey the values the company still embodies today – responsible, valuable, innovative.

Volkswagen kept on writing advertising history in the decades to come, for instance with the “Divorce” campaign for the Golf in the UK during the 1980s and its slogan: “If only everything in life was as reliable as Volkswagen.” The automaker continues to set advertising trends today, for example with the Horst Schlämmer campaign in 2007, primarily transmitted via video blogs, podcasts and YouTube, thereby typifying the spirit of the times.

The “Cannes Lions” International Advertising Festival is the largest and most prestigious meeting of its kind in the advertising community. Each year, over 10,000 participants from 94 countries meet on the Côte d’Azur. A jury assesses 28,000 advertisements in a total of 11 disciplines including Film, Direct, Radio, Design, Press, Media, Promo, PR, Outdoor, Cyber, Titanium and Integrated. Grand Prix, Gold, Silver and Bronze awards are presented in each category. The “Advertiser of the year” award is a special category and the highest honour at the Cannes Lions Festivals.

Volkswagen - 2009 Advertiser of the Year

Volkswagen - 2009 Advertiser of the Year

Volkswagen - 2009 Advertiser of the Year