Today In Advertising: Yes, We Can...Sell Volkswagens

November 3, 2010
Volkswagen's 'Yes We Can' ad

Volkswagen's 'Yes We Can' ad

Volkswagen may have trouble meeting its lofty 2018 sales goals, and Democrats may have suffered losses at the polls yesterday, but together, they can...sell cars to South Africa.

Take a good look at that ad on the left. Enlarge it if you must. That is, indeed, President Obama's "Yes, we can" slogan you see, smack-dab in the middle of all that whitespace. And at the bottom, that's a VW logo and a shout-out for the company's TSI engine, which we saw earlier this year at the 2010 Detroit Auto Show powering the company's New Coupe Concept, sometimes called the NCC or the 2011 Jetta Coupe.

The tagline reads, "Small can be powerful", and both Obama's three-word slogan and VW's 1.4-liter direct-injection engine qualify as small, powerful things. So even though the concept behind the ad is pretty facile, at least it's clear. How the president feels about being recruited to sell VWs, however, is somewhat muddier.

Of course, this isn't the first time that Obama has been recruited for advertising without his knowledge. In fact, celebs are appropriated all the time, including Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, Angelina Jolie, Kurt Cobain (for which Dr. Martens fired Saatchi & Saatchi), and many, many, more. Heck, VW used Martin Luther King, Jr. for this very campaign.

If you know of some celeb references we've missed, feel free to drop us a line. (Keep an eye out for "I'm not a witch"; you know it's just a matter of time.) And if you're looking for more chatter about politics, check out one of our newest sites,

Ad credits:
Advertising Agency: Ogilvy, Cape Town, South Africa

Executive Creative Director: Chris Gotz
Associate CD / Copywriter: Jacques Massardo
Creative Group Head/ Art Director: Gareth McPherson
Art Director: Matthew Pullen
Copywriter: Craig Ross

[via Copyranter]

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