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Volkswagen’s ’T’ SUV Trials and Triumphs

Capturing the hearts and minds of car lovers, young and old, Volkswagen’s global brand kinship, has been built on entertaining and unique storytelling film-scenarios, over many years, beginning with the iconic ‘Beetle’ and ‘Kombi0 in the early 70’s, that continued in the 2000s’ with the introduction of their Tiguan, Touareg, T-Roc, T-Cross, and Taos, sports utility vehicles, for new generations of VW brand aficionados.

1. VW Tiguan, Unhappy Campers

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK

Creative Directors: Matt Gay, and Feargal Ballance

Production Company: AKKURAT Studios, Berlin, Germany

Service Production Company: Chelsy Films, Vienna, Austria

Director of Photography: Franz Lustig

Masterly directed by the Novemba filmmaking duo of Blair MacDonald, and Oliver Clark, who elicit impressive performances from their cast, adam&eveDDB agency’s film-scenario of a spacious Tiguan providing shelter and comfort to a family’s disastrous camping holiday, of terrible weather, failing tents, bee stings, and mud pools, although partly portentous, is great fun to view.

2. VW Touareg Park Assist Pro, Laundry Services

Advertising Agency: DDB Voltage, Berlin, Germany

Chief Creative Officer:Tim Wettstein

Executive Creative Directors: Thomas Koch, and Sascha Dudic

Creative Director: Heitor Buchalla

Production Company: Film Deluxe, Berlin, Germany

Director of Photography: Roman Müellegger

Service Production Company: Groundglass, Cape Town, South Africa

Directed by filmmaker Kay Kienzler, and filmed in Cape Town, South Africa, DDB Voltage agency’s film-scenario, centres on the all too familiar struggle of motorists squeezing into tight parking spaces.

Observed from inside a laundry and repair services shop by its two owners, the frustration of people having to navigate extremely closely parked vehicles, often resulting in dirty clothes and torn outfits, are amusingly depicted in highly relatable scenes of ‘close encounters of the parking kind’, that call for for VW Touareg’s Park Assist Pro.

3. Volkswagen Taos, No Going Back

Advertising Agency: Johannes Leonardo, New York, USA

Executive Creative Director: Jonathan Santana

Associate Creative Directors: Julian Cohen, and Idriss Dabre

Design Director: Olga Vladova

Production Company: SMUGGLER, New York, USA

Post Production and VFX Studios: Blacksmith, New York, USA

Sound Design and Music Studios: Wave, New York, USA

For me the most effective automotive commercials are single-mindedly focussed on dramatising one outstanding feature of a vehicle, rather than featuring a catalogue of functions and options, that in a ‘day-after-recall’ test, I would be hard pressed to list.

Directed by lauded filmmaker Björn Rühmann, known for his sensitive and playfully unexpected film aesthetic, of elegantly crafted imagery, the understated humour of the ‘No Going Back’ VW Taos SUV scenario, I find insightfully appealing, and with a broad smile, very memorable.

4. VW T-Roc, Born Confident

Advertising Agency: adam&eveDDB, London, UK, and DDB Berlin/Hamburg, Germany

Group Chief Creative Officer: Ben Priest

Executive Creative Director: Rick Brim

Copywriter: Patrick McClelland

Art director: Feargal Ballance

Production Company: Somesuch, London, UK

VFX and Animation: Moving Picture Company, London UK

Sound Design Studios: 750mph, London, UK

Directed by filmmaker Nick Gordon, and filmed on the west coast of Sweden, in the Gothenburg area, the T-Roc commercial features ‘Bam the Ram’, who like Volkswagen’s smallest SUV, was born confident.

The masterly produced commercial, of the tough little ram, that exemplifies the confidence of Volkswagen’s crossover model, features a soundtrack of guitarist and singer, Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way”.

5. VW T-Cross, The Chase

Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Cape Town, South Africa

Chief Creative Officer: Pete Case

Executive Creative Director: Tseliso Rangaka

Associate Executive Creative Director: Nicholas Wittenberg

Creative Directors: Mike Martin, and Alex Goldberg

Associate Creative Director:  Riaan Van Wyk

Production Company: Patriot Films, Cape Town, South Africa

Director of Photography: Devin Toselli

Post Production Studios: Left Post, Cape Town, South Africa

Sound Design Studios: The Workroom, Cape Town, South Africa

Ogilvy Cape Town agency’s inspired film-scenario of a young couple in a VW T-Cross, being relentlessly pursued by domineering parents demanding to know; ‘when are you getting married?, when are you settling down?, when are you having kids?’, et al, was brought to entertaining life by filmmaker and director Anton Visser.

The cinematically produced commercial, of the young couple being able to evade the parental pressures of societal conformity, in Volkswagen’s T-Cross SUV, is humorously dramatised with impressive portrayals, and great fun to view.

6. VW Tiguan Trailer Assist, Laughing Horses

Adverting Agency: Grabarz & Partner, Hamburg, Germany

Group Creative Director: Tobias Ahrens

Creative Directors: Matthias Preuß, and Jakob Eckstein

Copywriter: Paul Von Mühlendahl

Production Company: Czar, Berlin, Germany

Post Production and VFX Studios: Bacon X, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sound Design Studio: Funk, Berlin, Germany

The globally popular VW Trailer Assist commercial, directed by filmmaker Bart Timmer, features laughing horses that are amusingly watchable.

From being Volkswagen Germany’s most successful online commercial debut of all time motivating 40 million views, the Tiguan Trailer Assist scenario was flighted on TV to great acclaim, garnering a bevy of advertising awards that included the New York Festivals, The One Show, Epica, Eurobest, D&AD, Clio, Lia, Cannes, and ADCE.

7. VW Tiguan AllSpace, The Stork

AlmapBBDO, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Executive Creative Director: Bruno Prosperi

Creative Director: André Gola

Creative Team: Henrique Del Lama, and Fernando Duarte Silva

Production Company: Killer Films, New York, USA

Post Production Company: Casa Blanca, São Paulo, Brazil

To launch VW Brazil’s family-sized Tiguan SUV, AlmapBBDO agency’s film-scenario, inspired by the folkloric tales of the mythical baby-delivering Stork, was brought to entertaining and cinematic life, by filmmaker and director Claudio Borrelli, in a superbly produced commercial that with great charm, highlights the many features the Tiguan AllSpace has to offer families.

8. VW T-Roc, The Drive To Defy

Powerful characters make history. Defiant ones rewrite it.

Agency: Ogilvy, Cape Town, South Africa

Film Production Company: Bioscope Films, Cape Town, South Africa

Sound Design and Music Studios: Audio Militia, Johannesburg, South Africa

Post Production Company: Strangelove Studios, Cape Town, South Africa

Visual Effects and Animation Company: Sinister Studios, Johannesburg, South Africa

Volkswagen and Ogilvy’s ‘Drive To Defy’ T-Roc advertising campaign, celebrates resilience, self-belief and the people who embody the spirit of defiance that lives within us all, with a series of commercials that pay tribute to the unstoppable drive of local heroes, such as Major Mandisa Mfeka, South Africa’s first black female combat pilot.

Directed by filmmaker Fausto Becatti, the masterly produced portrayal of Mandisa’s determination to make her childhood dream come true, is a remarkable story of true grit and defying the odds.