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VW Marks New Direction in the US with Ad by Johannes Leonardo and Daniel Wolfe

Creative 838 Add to collection

'Drive Bigger' acknowledges the brand's emissions scandal with an artful film helmed by the Somesuch director

VW Marks New Direction in the US with Ad by Johannes Leonardo and Daniel Wolfe
Volkswagen has been transforming since 2015, working to atone for the damage of the diesel matter while improving the core business, instituting new ethics and compliance programs with real teeth, and aggressively investing in electric vehicle development and production. Next the company needed to address its iconic brand. But before Volkswagen could credibly lay out a new direction, it had to take a moment to properly address what led to it - and it's doing so in a big campaign out of Johannes Leonardo, the first by the agency since become the brand's creative lead in the US (

The campaign begins with 'Hello Light', directed by Somesuch's Daniel Wolfe, which aired last night in the US during game three of the NBA Finals. The limited-run spot is a moment for the company to clear the air on the diesel matter, acknowledge what happened and all that it brought about. The point of the message is simple: What matters most is how you respond.

The Drive Bigger phase of the campaign begins June 11. In form, tone and copy, the advertising marks a return to the thoughtful, fun and unassuming Volkswagen ads of the 1950s and '60s. The campaign includes work that highlights VW's current fleet as well as its coming electric fleet. The work will run in print media, as well as on TV, digital and social platforms.

"This campaign is for all of those we disappointed, all of those who stayed with us, those who worked like crazy to keep us moving forward and for all of those who stopped caring," says Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.  “We have a responsibility to do better, to be greater and we intend to shoulder that responsibility."

Jan Jacobs, co-founder and CCO of Johannes Leonardo, adds: “This brand platform we are launching with Volkswagen will act as a north star for the company to ultimately transform their business. We’re embarking on arguably the most important chapter in the history of one of the world’s best advertisers. We are honoured to be part of it.”

For Volkswagen, 'Drive Bigger' is more than a slogan on a web-site or a poster in a dealership. It's a long-term vision for the brand and the company, backed by bold commitments.

Drive Bigger means Volkswagen Group has set a target of global carbon neutrality across its fleet, production and administration by 2050, and embraces the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. By 2025, the company intends to reduce its global carbon footprint by 30 percent.

Drive Bigger affects how Volkswagen will amplify all the good its employees and dealers do. For the dealer network, it means turning a sales event from something transactional to something powerful that benefits people in the communities in which they do business.

The Volkswagen Group has made one of the world’s largest commitments to electric vehicle production – a planned investment of more than $50 billion through 2028, with 70 new electric vehicles coming to market around the world, including next year’s planned American launch of a compact electric SUV, inspired by the Volkswagen ID. CROZZ concept car.

Drive Bigger means the company will use its platforms and resources so a nonprofit organisation, America Scores, can produce and air a national TV spot during the World Cup at no cost.
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Brand: Volkswagen

CEO: Scott Keogh

SVP Marketing: Jim Zabel

Director Brand & Communication: Jennifer Clayton

Advertising Manager: Chanel Barresi

Senior Director, Strategy & Comms: Greg Tebbutt

Specialist, Brand Advertising: Annabel Lyon (Senior), Ladan Rafei

Post Production / VFX

Post Production Company: Blacksmith

VFX Supervisor: Iwan Zwarts

Colourist: Simon Bourne (Framestore)

VFX Executive Producer: Charlotte Arnold

VFX Producer: Bindy St. Leger

2D Lead: Jamie Scott

Compositor: Nick Tanner, Daniel Morris, Jacob Coy, Margolit Steiner, Chris Memoli

CG Artist: Patrick McAvena, Tom Bussell, Vitaly Burov

3D Team: Milos Lukac

Colour Company: Framestore

Film Lab: Cinelab London

Film Lab Commercials Producer: Aarti Mahtani


Edit Company: Cosmo Street / Trim Editorial

Editor: Tom Lindsay

Edit Assistant: Dave Davis, Alex Morales, Taylor Morano, Joshua Berger

Production Company

Production Company: Somesuch

Director: Daniel Wolfe

DOP: Robbie Ryan

Executive Producer: Nicky Barnes

Production Designer: Chad Keith

Founder: Tim Nash and Sally Campbell

Line Producer: Saul Germaine

Production Service

Production Service Company: Radioaktive Films


Music Company: Groove Guild

Music Supervision: Al Risi


Sound Company: Q Department

Audio Post: Wave Studios

Mix Artist: Aaron Reynolds

Creative Agency

Creative Agency: Johannes Leonardo

Chief Creative Officer: Jan Jacobs, Leo Premutico

Creative Director: Jono Flannery, Paul Gregson

Copywriter: Gautier Fage

Art Director: Harry Neville-Towe

Producer: Adam Perloff

Design director: Charles Watlington

Head of Integrated Production: Dana May

Group Executive Producer: Benton Roman

Production Assistant: Cary Luecke

Assistant Editors: Justin Leyba

Integrated Producer: Treviana DelMastro

President: Bryan Yasko

Head of Account Management: Emily Wilcox

Business Lead: Ben Muldrew

Account Director: Vincent Scicchitano, Marci Axelrad

Management Supervisor: Mal Gretz

Account Supervisor: Stephen Vocaturo

Head of Strategy: Mark Aronson

Group Strategy Director: Mary Bakarich

Head of Communications Strategy: Meg Piro

Senior Business Affairs Manager: Kacey Kelley

Genres: In-camera effects, Music & Sound Design, Visual VFX, Scenic, Storytelling

Categories: Automotive, Cars

Johannes Leonardo, Thu, 06 Jun 2019 10:13:18 GMT