Monatsarchiv für May 2010


Automotive Icon: Vintage Volkswagen Beetle & Bus Ads

The Volkswagen Beetle and the Volkwagen Bus have become iconic symbols of the 60’s.

1966 VW Beetle Ad ~ Ugly is only skin-deep

Although the beloved, yet updated Beetle (also known as the Bug) is still being produced today, German production of the VW Bus with split-front windows (nicknamed the Splittie) ceased production in 1967. The bus could hold many people plus their belongings, and therefore was the ultimate transportation for the hippie counterculture, used in transporting them to concerts and anti-war rallies. The bus, in fact, was often called the hippiemobile. They were often seen with hand-painted peace signs or psychedelic murals.

1966 VW Bus Ad ~ Old Volkswagen Statio Wagons Never Die

At the end of the 1950’s, the ad firm of Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB) was handed a difficult task in being asked to create a campaign for the Volkswagen. It was, after all, a small car at a time when larger, family style cars were all the rage. It was considered unattractive looking; even — dare we say it — ugly, by many. Not to mention that it was manufactured in Germany at a plant built by the Nazis only 15 years after WWII had ended.

But lo and behold, they managed to come up with an extremely clever but simple ad campaign that quickly won the hearts of Americans and created tremendous brand loyalty.

Both the Beetle and the Bus had one of the most prolific and recognizable ad campaigns of the 1960’s. These ads live on as a part of history. We’ve posted some of our favorites here. We also have a large selection of vintage VW Beetle and VW Bus ads available in our store. website update

We have just added some really cool late 19th century magazine articles with subjects such as Coney Island (from 1897), Bicycle Racing (1897), the Salmagundi Club (1897), Hypnotism by Santanelli (1896), the Work of the Art Students League of NY (1897), and many others.