You know you are getting old – when Volkswagen praises you as a part of its heritage. This year, it will become 40 years that I said “sure” after someone asked me whether I would want to be a copywriter in an advertising agency. One of my first jobs was the launch campaign for the Volkswagen Golf, which hit the showrooms in Germany and Europe in early 1974, and soon became a hit. Volkswagen and I stuck together until 2007. I experienced a part of auto history, but I never thought I would be turned into a museum piece.
To celebrate the launch of the Golf, Volkswagen’s Heritage Dept. tracked me down in my love nest in Tokyo. Their mission: To relive how the ads and catalogs for the Golf were made. The interview can be found here at Volkswagen’s Classic website – it’s in German, and I am too embarrassed to translate the thing.
The story, which finally turns me into a dinosaur, comes with two rare artifacts of car history:
- The full version of the launch catalog for the Volkswagen Golf
- A series of never before published outrageous Polaroids from back when, out of the collection of my dear friend and then Art Director Gerd Hiepler.
The prayer picture is especially historically important: There, we pray for heavenly intuition, or at least divine inspiration for an advertising campaign, not for the Golf, but for tires by Continental. At the time, Dr. Carl Hahn was CEO of Continental. A little later, he took over at Volkswagen. Next to Ferdinand Piech, Carl Hahn was the most important CEO of Volkswagen.
Impressions of the wild times many years ago can be found at the (now officially sanctioned) Autobiography of BS. Prices for the book and the movie now skyrocketed – I hope.