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Boston Firm Drives Away With Prize for VW Beetle Print Ads

From Reuters

The gurus at the International Advertising Festival at Cannes caught the Lovebug on Tuesday when they awarded the top print advertising prize to a campaign for the new Volkswagen Beetle.

Boston-based Arnold Communications will take home the Grand Prix in the press and poster category for a print series announcing this year’s return of the vehicle, first built in Germany as the people’s car but later an icon of the free-living hippie era.

The 13 ads for the car, relaunched in the United States after a 19-year production break, feature small pictures in candy colors and copy putting a post-yuppie twist on flower power nostalgia.

“Less flower. More power,” “The engine’s in the front, but its heart’s in the same place,” and “If you sold your soul in the ‘80s, here’s your chance to buy it back” advertise the comeback with a simple “Drivers Wanted” next to the VW logo. The car has become one of the most popular in the United States.

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“It makes you love the car,” said Robert Campbell of the British agency Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe. “Unlike most car advertising, which is macho and formulaic, it’s completely modern . . . and makes you want to buy the car. That’s quite rare in advertising these days.”

Volkswagen is spending $35 million to launch the car in the United States and is aiming to hit annual production of 160,000 next year.

For the first time, the Cannes jurors awarded international Cyber Lions prizes for interactive advertising.

Ten of the festival’s first 16 interactive advertising awards were given to U.S. creations, reflecting the relative experience of practitioners here in a medium that is still evolving, jurors said. Britain took three prizes. Brazil, Australia and Germany won one each.

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