When Everyone Thought Big, Volkswagen Thought Small and Won
In 1960, big things were an expectation.
Just over a decade after WWII ended, the American Dream was in full force, the economy was booming, and everything was big. Americans were buying bigger homes, constructing bigger buildings, and driving big cars.
But Volkswagen, true to their roots, created and shared a message that went completely against the trend.
It became one of the most celebrated ad campaigns of the century, winning crazy awards, and helping increase sales while boosting brand loyalty.
But why was it successful?
It was unique.
It was simple.
It was authentic.
The “Think small” message truly connected with the intended audience - and didn’t try to mislead.
Volkswagen didn’t over-promise or try to inject superficial elements of fantasy like so many other ads of the time.
They knew who they were, they owned it, and it paid off.
Over the next decade, the VW Beetle became the best-selling import car in America.
The lesson is, no matter what year it is, no matter how different you are, your audience will always gravitate towards messaging that embraces authenticity and the simple experience.
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