- Volkswagen is debuting new video ads to promote its Atlas Cross Sport SUV, the company shared with Marketing Dive.
- The campaign, titled "The Accountant," stars actors Paul Giamatti and Kieran Culkin. Produced by Johannes Leonardo, the campaign includes three videos that will debut this month.
- The video series is part of the broader "Drive Something Bigger Than Yourself" brand platform that encourages people to make choices that go beyond self-interest and benefit society. Premiering tonight during the "Bachelor" finale, the spots signify what will be a year-long effort against excess culture.
In this playful spot timed for tax season, Volkswagen highlights its latest SUV as a modest luxury vehicle that's worth the investment. Giamatti plays an accountant who advises clients, like Culkin's character, against writing off excessive purchases ranging from a solid gold jet ski to a white tiger.
While Giamatti's clients ask if they can deduct outlandish purchases, the Volkswagen Cross Sport is positioned as a practical and modest purchase that still offers luxurious features. When Culkin's character asks about the new Volkswagen vehicle, Giamatti approves, and the campaign tagline "Excessive Where It Matters" appears in frame.
By enlisting Giamatti and Culkin, actors in TV shows focused on wealth culture ("Billions" and "Succession," respectively), Volkswagen can more pointedly communicate society's craving for excess and transition the message to how consumers can forego this excess while still feeling luxurious in a Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport. The ad is a part of the brand’s "Drive Something Bigger Than Yourself" platform, which pushes a message of sustainability and social responsibility, and this latest video series aims to promote the notion of buying excess only where it matters.
Tapping big stars for funny ads is nothing new to major car companies such as Volkswagen. During the Super Bowl, Chris Evans, John Krasinski, and Rachel Dratch alongside Boston Red Sox star David "Big Papi" Ortiz starred in an ad for Hyundai. In the spot, the Boston native actors teach Dominican-native Ortiz how to speak with a Boston accent.
The campaign comes during the spring, which is a big time for car buying, as many consumers receive tax return checks and use these lump sums as down payments for a vehicle. National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) estimates a surge in light trucks are on track to account for more than 70% of overall new car sales for 2019, while cars will account for less than 30% of new car sales. Debuting the video series around tax season may help the campaign to reach more consumers as they consider their finances and discover they may be able to afford this new luxury