Flashback Friday: “Think Small.”

Welcome to Flashback Friday!

This is the first of a series of Friday posts that will feature nifty retro ads for your viewing pleasure.  Wondering  what made these advertisements classics?  Well, we can fill you in on that too.

Here’s our first pick: the VW “Think Small” campaign.


This advertisement is simple, one feature that earned it a position atop the Ad Age  Top 100 Campaigns of the Century.  High honor, right?

The “Think Small” advertisement plays up the Volkswagen’s unique body style and emphasizes how it’s different from large-and-in-charge cars on the market at the time.  In fact, this advertisement is pretty revolutionary in and of itself.  It’s different from most car advertisements during the 1950s, which had more information and not as much car.  (Visual learner? Go here.)

Well, there’s not a whole lot of car in the Think Small ad, either. But that’s the point.  Our attention is sharply focused on what car there is.

According to Bob Garfield of Ad Age, “’Think small’ was thinking quite big, actually.”

Since VW still uses the same unique body design with success, we’d have to agree.

Year: 1959
Credit: Doyle Dane Bernbach


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