I was just writing earlier today about the fact that Tesla plays in a league of its own in the US electric vehicle market — it has several times more sales than other automakers in this market. There are many potential reasons for that, but one big one is consumer awareness and hype. Elon Musk may be a viral sensation, Tesla may be a viral sensation, but other automakers have to find a way to drum up enthusiasm among their loyal customer bases as well as consumers who may be interested in buying from them. That often means marketing/ads.
I’ve been very critical of EV ads that I think are rubbish, but am also very enthusiastic about ones that I think communicate the benefits of electric vehicles to normal people well. Volkswagen’s new EV commercials do the job very well, superbly, wonderfully.
The general theme of the 3 commercials is to highlight electric vehicle benefits (and specifically, ID.4 benefits). They do this with short “before and after” statements from people (actors) living with their ID.4s (in idyllic homes and filmed by Hollywood-level film crews). I love them! This video series really may be as good as it gets. Volkswagen dissolves myths, highlights strong points (including places where gas cars can never compete), and couches it all in attractive and familiar daily lives.
If I had to rate electric car commercials in a CleanTechnica version of the Oscars (I know, I’m not being too presumptive or haughty right now), these would certainly be contenders. In fact, I can’t think of any that would beat them.
Let’s roll through each commercial.
- “Shh. Before, they would’ve heard me taking the car,” a teenage girl says with a smile.
- “Before, I didn’t have an app to show me when she was taking the car,” the dad chimes in while sitting up in bed.
- “Before, the chance of an SUV handling more like a hot hatch — uh, none.”
- The mom in the passenger seat changes an ambient lighting option to a blue one called “Desire” as her son falls asleep in the back. “He won’t know a world before electric,” she then whispers. The female narrator says, “Before it can change the world, it has to change yours. The all-new, all-electric Volkswagen ID.4.”
The features highlighted in this one:
- “Before, we’d to always be late, and on empty. Now we’re just late. Kids? …”
- “Before, no one used to listen to me. Hello, ID — I’m cold.”
- “Before, we couldn’t take in the sweet sounds of nature.” They then pass a bear right next to the road (of course) and a loud Subaru going in the other direction covered in mud and with an “I Love Nature” bumper sticker. “Seriously?” (Nice swipe at a huge potential market competitor — nature lovers love to buy Subarus, which is ironically one of the biggest laggards in the EV transition. Even the bear is not a fan. The female narrator then says, “Before it can change the world, it has to change yours. The all-new, all-electric Volkswagen ID.4.”
The features highlighted in this one:
- “Before, it got started with a key, then a button. Now … see: it’s on.”
- “Before, the rain would bring me down.” The driver, sitting in her car with a nice cup of tea, turns on an ambient lighting option that lights the car up a bit in a warm yellow. “How you like me now, rain?” (Pausing and looking closely at the screen, this lighting option is called “Vitality.” There’s also a red option, “Euphoria,” a turquoise one, “Desire,” a light mint green, “Eternity,” an orange, “Infinity,” and a dark blue (can’t see the name).
- “Before, you had to be awake to make a difference,” a man says as he goes to sleep. The female narrator then says, “Before it can change the world, it has to change yours. The all-new, all-electric Volkswagen ID.4.”
5 out of 5 stars for these. These are superb, wonderful commercials that highlight some of the many benefits of new smart electric cars and SUVs in perfect little packages of families we both see ourselves in and strive to be more like.
I hope Volkswagen continues the series. It could highlight the truly amazing convenience of home charging in more ways and for more lifestyles. It could also highlight the fun of instant torque better, and the usefulness of it for merging onto an Interstate or other fast-flowing road. It could point out the huge operational savings and lower total cost of ownership, especially if selling the car at the end of 5 years or so into a market in which few people want a gas car.
Overall, though, I just want to see more of these great commercials, and more like them from other automakers. The #1 barrier to quicker EV adoption at this point is limited consumer awareness around the existence and benefits of electric vehicles.
Let us know what you think of these new Volkswagen ID.4 commercials.
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