Slogan Doctor - Volkswagen: 'das Auto.'

Quality engineering - or just quality marketing?

by John Morrish
Last Updated: 02 Nov 2010
Volkswagen's slogan is as minimal as they come. Two words, and a full stop to add a bit of graphical interest. The slogan came out of Wolfsburg, Volkswagen's international HQ, and was introduced by long-term ad agency DDB and first presented at the 2007 Frankfurt motorshow. Like subsidiary Audi's Vorsprung Durch Technik, it tells you that you are dealing with a German engineering company, with the quality that this implies - and is a lot easier to understand. That said, there are plenty of people - and the slogan is used all over the world - who don't know das auto means simply 'the car'. Except that we are surely meant to read it as The car, using the emphatic, stressed version of the definite article we use when we mean 'the best car'. This is how it appears on Volkswagen's German website: 'Only when a car defines an era, is it The car', it begins, in English, before adding a raft of explanations for why the Volkswagen - contrary to appearances - is more than just a car.

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