Watch "The Force"

You can see a clear the similarity here between David Ogilvy's layout and the layout for DDB's Beetle campaign. This layout might not look novel now, but it was at the time.

While the VW logo is prominently displayed here, there is no reason why DDB couldn't have just created a different ad featuring the Beetle.

I'm sure most people still correctly linked this ad clearly with VW as they had clearly established the style of their ads by this point, and the logo is more prominently displayed here than in previous ads, but boredom is probably to blame for DDB scrapping the distinctive Beetle, which certainly wouldn't have hurt them and would have likely helped.

As Jenni Romaniuk of the Ehrenberg-Bass Institute (a leading expert on using distinctive design for brand growth) would say, "Mentally replace boring with familiar." Familiarity is the primary tool consumers use to choose between brands.

Helmut Krone, DDB's Art Director is famous for saying, "I've spent my whole life fighting logos. Logos say 'I am an ad. Turn the page.'"

Today, we have mounds of evidence to suggest that processing an ad, as an ad, doesn't decrease our chances of being influenced by that ad, and that logos are vital for an ad to influence us, because they act as a cue for the brand.

Knowing what brand is being advertised gives us direction (consciously or subconsciously) on how to process an ad, and act upon it later.

Krone, like Bill Bernbach, also seems to believe that persuasion is the primary means by which advertising influences us. If you never read the ad, you can't be persuaded to buy.

This cartoon by Marketoonist does a great job of bringing this point home.

Watch "Dream Baby"

Watch "Bud" "Weis" "Er"

Watch "Whassup"

Watch "Brotherhood"

REFERENCES

[1] Wikipedia - Volkswagen

[2] Wikipedia - Volkswagen Advertising

[3] How Brands Grow 2 - Byron Sharp

[4]  How Brands Grow - Byron Sharp

[5] Repetitive Advertising and the Consumer. - Andrew Ehrenberg (1974)

[6] The unbearable lightness of buying, as told by an old jar of pesto

[7] The Long Term Sales Effects of Advertising: Lessons from Single Source

[8] Volkswagen Sales Figures

[9] Total Auto Industry Sales Figures

DON'T FALL FOR IT.

Customers don’t "fall in love" with brands, marketers don't need to "differentiate or die," and advertising a "brand purpose" has no impact on growth.

Stay up-to date on all the bullshit, and the evidence that debunks it.

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