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Think Small: How creative advertising made the Beetle into an icon

Personalization/Targeted Ads

The VW Beetle is one of the most easily recognized cars on the road today thanks to one of the best ad campaigns ever made. When you looked at the circumstances that the Beetle had to overcome, like it's ties to Hitler and the Nazis or it's place in post WWII as a foreign car, it's a wonder it's still around today. "Think Small" were the two words that set the Beetle ad apart from virtually every ad of the time period. The self-depricating tone that seemed so trustworthy and true flipped advertising during the time on its head.

The mind behind it all, Bill Bernbach, had it all figured out. The car looked different, so make the advertisements different. The ad took you from thinking "Why would anyone want a small, weird looking car?" to "Why wouldn't anyone want a small, unique car?" in the most elegant way possible. The account supervisor, Ed Russell, found that owners of the Beetle needed to justify it to themselves and others, so the ad was created in an almost argumentative style, with points and counterpoints, that gave the people things to talk about. These things together made the Beetle the icon it is today, all thanks to creative advertising.

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