Iconic Ads: Volkswagen – The Last Mile
To put an end to the Beetle nameplate, Volkswagen released its video obituary for the automotive icon as a proper farewell.
The oddly shaped car designed to fit five passengers transcended its dubious origins and became popular with members of the American counterculture during the 1960s and 1970s. The origins can be traced back to Hitler’s Third Reich, which developed it as affordable transportation for the masses. Volkswagen halted sales of the original model in the United States for a period of twenty years, but the release of the New Beetle in 1997 sparked a genuine frenzy. The New Beetle was a deft combination of the traditional shape with modernised practicality. A version of the automobile that was introduced nine years ago that had fewer rounded edges did not achieve significant sales success due to the fact that consumers’ preferences had shifted and Volkswagen was having difficulty moving on from the emissions scandal that occurred in 2015.
Volkswagen said in 2018 that it intended to end production of the Beetle, which had been the best-selling car in the history of the world and had contributed to the development of a market for more fuel-efficient automobiles. In the same year that more automobile manufacturers started producing electric vehicles to appeal to customers who are environmentally sensitive, the firm said last year that it had ambitions to begin manufacturing emission-free automobiles in the United States.
Numerous people’s lives were impacted by the Volkswagen Beetle over its manufacturing lifetime of 81 years and production of approximately 23 million units. It fans among the nations spanning from Europe to South America, and in certain locations, such as Mexico, it is thought that as many as 80 percent of households possessed one at some point. To put an end to the Beetle nameplate without saying a proper farewell would be unfair, and so on the eve of the new decade, Volkswagen finally released its video obituary to the automotive icon that was the Beetle.
The Volkswagen Beetle has a unique position in the collective consciousness of consumers all around the world. It has been immortalised in a plethora of movies and television series. For example, a Bug that had been parked illegally was notably featured on the cover of the album Abbey Road by the Beatles.
The creative team at Johannes Leonardo, led by writer Brandon Holliday and including art directed by Laura Longstaff and Chris Luu, collaborated on the production of a commercial that told the story of a guy for whom a Volkswagen Beetle was always a member of his family. The protagonist of the movie is shown to grow up with a Volkswagen Beetle, which serves as a background to significant life events such as falling in love, having children, and, of course, saying goodbye to the Beetle at the end of the film.
It was decided to go in the direction of animation, and as a result, it was produced by London and LA-based Nexus Studios and directed by Fx Goby. It features cameos from Ren McCormack, Kevin Bacon (he drove one in Footloose), Andy Warhol (who put the Bug in a screen print), and Andy Cohen, while The Beatles’ “Let it Be” anchors the spot of the 90-second film musically, sung by the Pro Musica Youth Chorus. There are also allusions to Doyle Dane Bernbach’s ultra-classic print advertisement, “Think Small,” which was instrumental in bringing the Volkswagen Beetle to the United States market.
The group created the stylised animation by using rotoscoping methods, which included painting over live-action footage. It helped in capturing the human emotions and movements of the characters, and it made everything more aesthetically harmonious. The hues that are shown throughout the movie were first seen on a variety of different bugs.
The song “Let It Be” by the Beatles strikes the perfect balance between acknowledging how difficult it can be to let something go while at the same time feeling reassured that the next day will be better for it. Given the similarity in names and ties between the band and brand, this is not surprising.
Not only does “The Last Mile” capture the relationships that tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, or even millions of people have had with their cherished Volkswagen Beetles, but it also does a commendable job of recreating the atmosphere of the Beetle’s discontinuation ceremony, which “The Drive” was able to attend on July 10, 2019, in Puebla, Mexico.
When the automobile changes into a real life Volkswagen bug. This conclusion is meant to serve two purposes: first, as an acknowledgement of the environmental issues that lead up to this point, and second, as a reminder that this automobile will always be there.
The advertisement comes to a close with the Volkswagen Beetle moving off with the words “Where one road ends, another begins.”