Volkswagen India Builds Aspiration For The 21st Century Beetle In New Ad

“The 21st Century Beetle” - Volkswagen India's new ad film by DDB Mudra takes a viewer back in history showing the Bug's many avatars, place in history and cult following


The Beetle is back. The iconic Bug from German automaker Volkswagen is all set to be launched this December in India, and pre-bookings have already commenced from this month. Having discontinued manufacturing the Beetle for over two years, the new 21st Century Beetle is the most awaited from Volkswagen.

Combining the classic styling of Beetle with contemporary technologies, the automaker plans to start a new chapter in the glorious history of the living legend. The new Beetle will be made available in four colours – Habanero Orange, Oryx White, Tornado Red and Blue Silk, and is estimated to be priced at INR 21.2 lakhs.

Beetle enthusiasts can pre-book the car either through select Volkswagen dealerships across India or at the website by paying Rs 1 lakh. Building buzz around the bookings, the automaker has rolled out an ad film conceptualized by DDB Mudra, “The 21st Century Beetle”.

The ad takes one through the historic journey of the living legend while the narrative guides on what to think. Think curves, cuteness and rounded lines, lemons cruising through route 69, and more, while the visuals show the various avatars of the Beetle, with an emphasis on its curvy, bug design that it’s famous for.

‘Think flowery shirts, bell bottoms and mini-skirts, think peace loving rebels, compulsive flirts’ tells you about the car’s place in history and its cult status in the 60’s. A group of people are seen trying to recreate a Beatles album too, with a Beetle at the background. Psychedelic painted Beetles and mini Beetles also find a place in the film, along with the many names it’s known by – superbug, ladybug, etc.

It also makes a jibe at its popular ad campaign ‘Think Small’ when the narrative says ‘think small-sized jokes’. Finally it reveals the 21st century Beetle and gives you the link to book yours.


Volkswagen India has not indulged in a full-fledged digital campaign for the 21st century Beetle as yet. The social media properties of the brand are sharing the ad film along with the booking link.

The ad film is crisp and nicely done. It takes a viewer back in history without ever going out of context. All throughout the focus is on Beetle, its many avatars, its place in history and its cult following. The goal is to woo Beetle enthusiasts as well as build aspiration in potential premium car buyers. The one glitch I came across was when the ad narrative talked about ‘Think affordable for the clerk’; which Indian clerk can afford INR 21.2 lakhs for a car? Beetle used to be an economy car, now it’s a fashion statement.

Though the ad film tells a great brand story, for the re-launch of an iconic car like the Beetle, I had more expectations from Volkswagen. Surely, the 21st Century Beetle deserves much more than an ad. A visual history of the iconic Bug could have been built on the booking site. Apparently, all the burden of driving bookings is only on the ad film.