The Floating VW Beetle Ad

The floating VW commercial

We youngsters certainly paid close attention to commercials in the 60’s. One I’ll never forget involved a guy climbing into a Beetle, driving it into a pond, and explaining to the audience as he bobbed up and down in the water that Volkswagen engineered their cars to be watertight, or something to that effect.

And the commercial had an effect on me. I spent thew rest of my childhood feeling like if a car DIDN’T float, it was inferior.

Strangely enough, I haven’t owned a VW Bug. Both of my older brothers have, as have a large percentage of the earth’s driving population. I DID own a 1974 bus.

But still, the commercial filled me with a high regard for the ubiquitous little car.

In the 1940’s after WWII, it barely survived. It was viewed as Hitler’s pet project by much of the rest of the world.

But sales started picking up. By the 1960’s it was an extremely common sight on American roads.

As pollution increased, and legislation was put in place to fight it, the Beetle was phased out in the U.S. While it was still a big seller, particularly in Latin America, here in the States dealers were now pushing Rabbits, Sciroccos, and Jettas.

Eventually, the Beetle resurfaced in its 1998 introduction as the New Beetle. It has proven to be a success worldwide.

But does it float?

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