In the 1973 film Sleeper which is set two hundred years in the future, there's a scene in which Woody Allen's character comes across a long-abandoned VW Beetle. The car starts first time and Allen says: "wow, they really built these things, didn't they?"
This reputation for reliability was largely established by a long-running advertising campaign created by Doyle Dane Bernbach in New York. It was interesting corollary to a separately-acquired reputation for quirkiness. On the back of these almost contradictory perceptions, the car became a cult hit and if any vehicle could be said to have symbolised sixties counter-culture, it would have to be the VW Beetle (together with the same company's camper van).
The VW Beetle became a favourite among young drivers and its instantly recognisable shape helped to ensure that owners felt a strong affinity with one another. It seemed that no VW Beetle driver would ever pass another on the opposite carriageway without an acknowledgement and this helped to sustain the huge affection for the car.
When VW reintroduced the Beetle in 1998, it seemed to lack the charisma of its predecessor even though it was widely considered to be a vastly superior car and there appeared little chance that it would win as important a place in the hearts of those who drove it.
Nonetheless, as this lovely American ad demonstrates, it's still possible for marketers to tap into the affectionate relationship that VW Beetle owners have had with their cars.
Gorgeous's Chris Palmer directed this ad out of Deutsch in Los Angeles and it suggests that an owner can still be overwhelmed by the positivity provoked by the car. The music choice is perfect and plays its part in the creation of a lovely feel-good piece of advertising.