Anyone who has read an action comic book knows what a cataclysmic impact looks like. Splat! Pow! Blam! Swoosh! Clouds of dust, explosive rays, stars. Adam&Eve DDB London worked with illustrator John Rogers to demonstrate how Volkswagen’s City Emergency Brake system can avert disaster by using a comic book illustrative style and visual sound effects. It certainly beats the more realistic approach of showing blood and gore, police cars and the message “don’t let this happen to you.”
There are many reasons why corporations update, revise or simply abandon their logos. The old mark may feature antiquated technology or not be politically correct by today’s standards. It may no longer reflect who they are, the size of their current business or what they sell. Or it may have been drawn by the founder or a promising art student when the firm was a cash-poor startup. Whatever. The result was a logo that looked amateurish and generic. This is a tough quiz, made harder because we had to remove the brand names on some logos so they didn’t give away the answer. When you pair the logo with the brand however, you’re likely to be surprised. Good luck!
VW’s Phaeton transparent factory in the heart of downtown Dresden runs counter to the traditional impressions of a car assembly plant. Instead of blue-collar workers, there are white-gloved technicians. Instead of deafening noises, there is the hushed atmosphere of a research lab. The floors are lovely Canadian maple, and the walls are clear glass, which is why a loudspeaker outside imitates territorial bird sounds to keep birds from flying into the glass. There are no smokestacks, shrill sounds or noxious fumes. The grungier stamping, welding and painting of steel bodies take place elsewhere. VW’s transparent factory, designed by architect Gunter Henn and opened in 2002, showcases the final assembly of the luxury Phaeton sedan. Futuristic, exacting, open, and pristine, the Dresden facility is as much a marketing device as a working production plant, drawing thousands of visitors for tours each year. This video is from Megaworld Germany.
Here’s an effective print ad for VW Phaeton that doesn’t show the product at all — not the exterior, interior, engineering marvels or even a silhouette of the product. In fact, you wouldn’t make the connection to an automobile, much less a specific brand, if you didn’t see the VW logo and read the tagline at the bottom of the page: “Arrive in better shape. The Phaeton with adaptive air suspension.” At first glance, the ad just looks like an intriguing dissection of Cubist art. Look again. The humor (and the marketing message) come through when the ad is taken in as a whole. Very clever.
When you consider standard car ads, you can pretty much imagine the scenario – beautiful young couple driving over curvy scenic roads or attracting envious stares from suburban neighbors as the car pulls into the driveway. So it is refreshing to see how Volkswagen Phaeton has elevated its ads to fine art in order to convey the handmade quality of the luxury sedan. In India, DDB Mudra Group in Mumbai suggested the artisan’s pride of craftsmanship and attention to intricate details through the use of a traditional Indian art form. The way the Phaeton is integrated into the art is both surprising and memorable. More importantly, this isn’t a “foreign” ad jarringly adapted to an Indian audience. It speaks directly to India’s rich aesthetic heritage.
YeZ, this is just a concept car, but consider the possibilities. Developed by Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC) in partnership with General Motors and Volkswagen, YeZ, which means “leaf” in Mandarin, not only absorbs carbon dioxide and water molecules from the atmosphere, it exhales oxygen. Through solar panels on its roof and wind turbines in its wheels, YeZ generates energy that it stores in its lithium ion batteries. YeZ is like a mechanized photosynthesis process. It is still a concept and only seats two, and no one has said how fast it can go, but consider the possibilities.