Volkswagen of America, Inc. today released the two-minute extended cut of “An American Love Story” as part of its celebration of 75 years in America and countdown to the Big Game on Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024. A 60-second version will air during the third quarter of the game on CBS and the Spanish-language broadcast on Univision.
Created by Volkswagen in partnership with its longstanding creative and advertising agency, Johannes Leonardo, “An American Love Story” is a vivid, nostalgic tour of the brand’s 75-year history in America, beginning with the arrival of the first Type 1 vehicles—fondly nicknamed “The Beetle”—imported by Dutch businessman Ben Pon in 1949. Pairing historical and recreated footage, the film is filled with captivating visuals that encapsulate Volkswagen’s role in some of America’s most recognizable cultural moments, underscoring the brand’s unifying impact. These include scenes from Herbie Rides Again, Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo, The Simpsons, and Star Wars character likenesses; content that is available to view along with all of your favorites from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars and National Geographic on Disney+. The film concludes with a spotlight on Volkswagen’s ID. Buzz, a vehicle that will – later in 2024 – further usher in the brand’s commitment to electromobility – and next 75 years of history.
The film’s Emmy Award-winning director, Lance Acord, is also credited with Volkswagen’s 2011 commercial “The Force,” which was named best ad of 2011 by Adweek, Creativity and YouTube, and is a perennial entry on lists of favorite Big Game ads of all time.
“An American Love Story” is set to Neil Diamond’s impassioned 1971 hit “I Am… I Said.” Just like the Beetle and its timid journey in a bigger and better America, the song resonates with those who seek to find a sense of belonging and to understand the world around them.
Marking a first in Big Game advertising history, the extended cut of the film debuts with a special screening at today’s 2024 Chicago Auto Show Media Preview. Volkswagen is also taking the unique approach of delivering this “love letter” to current owners through the myVW App. The film also includes the brand’s Chattanooga factory, home to 5500 employees who assemble the all-electric ID.4 SUV, as well as the Atlas and Atlas Cross Sport SUVs.
“’An American Love Story’ is a heartfelt tribute to Volkswagen’s enduring relationship with America,” explained Rachael Zaluzec, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience and Brand Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “Over the last 75 years, our journey has woven into the fabric of this country, mirroring its spirit and evolution. With this short film, we are not just celebrating our history, but also embracing a future of innovation and sustainability. You’ll also find a few nods to past VW creative work – to give that signature wink we’ve become known for. It’s our way of saying ‘thank you’ to America for being a part of our story, and an invitation to stick with us as we embark on exciting new chapters.”
“When we started our working journey with Volkswagen five years ago, our goal was and still is to reignite love for the brand in America, while maintaining the spirit of the brand’s wit and charm,” said Jonathan Santana, ECD of creative agency Johannes Leonardo. “Everyone has a VW story, and this one is about American as they come. An epic tale about how an underdog with big dreams is not only embraced but becomes part of the very fabric of American culture. We can’t wait to watch as we pass the baton to a new generation to fall in love with the Volkswagen brand and make us as much an icon over the next 75 years as we were the first.”