Small car, big ads

Published by Matador, 146 pages

“A spirited, fully illustrated history of a pivotal era in American advertising.” —Wallpaper

“A fascinating read that is hard to put down.” —VolksAmerica

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Order the paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon:

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It wasn’t German engineering only that made the Volkswagen Beetle an icon. It was a Manhattan advertising agency, too.

Created in 1959 by Doyle Dane Bernbach and continued until the early ’70s, the campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle is considered the best of all time.

More than just promoting a car, it promoted a new kind of advertising. Charming. Intelligent. Honest.

And the Volkswagen ads didn’t change the ethos of advertising only. They helped trigger the cultural revolution of the 1960s.

Based on exclusive interviews with a lot of the advertising greats involved in the campaign (as well as with Carl H. Hahn, head of Volkswagen of America from 1959 to 1964), Ugly Is Only Skin-Deep will change how you think about the art of persuasion and the power of creativity.

“The author has done an amazing job of weaving personality, history and practice into a wonderfully written book.” —Steven Heller, School of Visual Arts, NYC

I can’t recommend it highly enough. Get it.” —Neil French, former Worldwide Creative Director of WPP and author of Sorry for the Lobsters

“A timely as well as masterful piece of work.” —Richard Huntington, Chief Strategy Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi London, Adliterate

“Pure inspiration that makes you love the business all over again.” —Edward Boches, Professor of Advertising at Boston University and former Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Mullen Lowe

“Do yourself and your career a favor. Forgo two days’ worth of pretentious caffeine. Spend your money instead on this surpassing book.” —George Tannenbaum, Ad Aged

“If the author’s command of his subject is masterful, then his ability to tell it as a story is even more impressive.” —Steve Harrison, author of How to Do Better Creative Work and Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man

“As someone who was there at DDB at the time, I can tell you that Dominik Imseng has captured the very essence of how and why the Volkswagen campaign not only revolutionized the advertising business but made the making of ads an art form.” —Bob Kuperman, former President and CEO of DDB New York 

“Damn good book.” —Ed McCabe, Co-Founder of Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Inc.

Read a free sample chapter.

Order the paperback or Kindle edition on Amazon:

United States · United Kingdom · Canada · Germany · France · Italy · Spain · Japan · India

Dominik Imseng (b. 1968) received a M.A. in Philosophy, German Literature and History of Art from the University of Zurich. Before switching to management consulting, he worked as an advertising creative in Switzerland.