What's Missing In Volkswagen's New "Rain" Warranty Commercial?

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain

This commercial is not a circa 1970 follow-up to 1969’s infamous Woodstock Music & Art Fair. It’s not a the result of marketers in the 1980s looking back 10 or 15 years. It’s not Volkswagen’s late-to-the-party retro take on counterculture. No, this is Volkswagen’s People First Warranty commercial from 2017. Today.

It is a wholehearted embrace of Volkswagen’s history. The Microbus. An original Beetle. Hippies.

“I think what’s powerful about it,” Volkswagen of America’s marketing director Greg Tebbutt says, “is we’ve got a heritage story that is unique to us and only we can tell.”

But there’s something conspicuously absent from the 60-second “Rain” spot.

Volkswagen launched its first three-row utility vehicle, the Atlas, in May of this year. The company’s second-generation Tiguan arrived in the United States in July. Those were the two vehicles to institute Volkswagen’s six-year, 72,000-mile comprehensive warranty, a warranty that was extended across the model lineup in late September.

The Volkswagen Jetta is the brand’s best-selling model in the U.S. market. Sales of the Volkswagen Golf family are up 35 percent in a shrinking market thanks to the success of the Golf’s two-pronged wagon approach. Beetle sales are rising, too.

None of those cars make an appearance in Volkswagen’s “Rain” commercial.

In fact, no new vehicle makes an appearance in Volkswagen’s “Rain” commercial.

Timothy Cain
Timothy Cain

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  • Claytori Claytori on Oct 13, 2017

    As a former VW-phile who sold his 2nd Scirocco in 1987 (2 beetles, 1 van), I still never refer to VW's "Warranty" without making the finger gestures associated with quotation marks. Little has changed. "You broke our beauuutiful car!" comes to mind.

    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 15, 2017

      My family's first new car purchase in my lifetime (the 76 Carolla was purchased a few months before I arrived as the Plymouth Duster was deemed not reliable enough to shuttle around infant me) was an 85 Jetta. I would learn to drive in it so it has a special place for me but my memories of dealership interaction back your claims up and it was a fairly miserable vehicle right up until 1993 when it was traded for 300 bucks towards a new Explorer.

  • Tosh Tosh on Oct 14, 2017

    The best thing about VW's is that they're no longer 60's VW's since Audi taught them how to build modern stylish safe fwd cars. And who is sitting around waiting to buy a VW if only the warranty were a tiny bit longer?! Get lost VW!

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Oct 14, 2017

    What that BS about Woodstock supposed to mean? VW now is targeting 70-80 years olds? Even I do not remember and do not care about Woodstock and always considered hippies as bums and losers did not find anything cool about them. No thank you, give me 21st century Tesla please.

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    • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Oct 15, 2017

      @Art Vandelay No those were for Great Generation. VW will go bankrupt after boomers gone. And they will die out despite belief of being forever young.

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 15, 2017

    Millennials are to young to have any cash yet, though they are getting there. The boomers are by in large too old to give a damn anymore. It would seem that advertisers, much like those 2 generations forget there is this whole generation between them (X) that is fairly flush with cash comparitively speaking and still young enough to be nostalgic. Ford gets it...hence the big block 5.0 attached to the side of the Mustang. Buts it's cool VW, go after my parents. If you really want to sell my Dad a car though know that he once owned a Beetle and an air cooled 912, but what he really wants now is a Venza and was dismayed they killed it. He is pretty happy with his Frontier though which he sees as a really modern truck. Now I'm off to quench my nostalgia. Anyone know where I can score a clean first gen Saturn?

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    • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Oct 16, 2017

      @Jack Denver I remember my grandfather saying it needed something fixed every week or so.