A Texas Volkswagen dealership's contro-versial advertising campaign is drawing national attention and raising a few eyebrows in metro Dallas.
"I knew we had hit a home run when reporters from different advertising magazines called and asked if 'Blondes and Beetles' was a national campaign," Barry Stevenson says of six 9 x 19-foot advertisements making their way around town on the sides of public buses.
"Even Volkswagen's own advertising agency called us to learn about it and see the pictures," says Mr. Stevenson, account executive at Bedford Advertising and co-creator of the campaign.
Each of the six posters for Metro Volkswagen Inc. features a vivacious blond woman next to a VW Beetle.
The pictures are accompanied by short copy lines referring to the woman and car respectively, such as "High Maintenance - Low Maintenance", "Good Curves - Great Curves", "Spends Your Money - Saves Your Money", and "Heart Breaker - Anti - Lock Breaker".
"We have a traffic-stopping, fun campaign that is making Metro Volkswagen stand out from other dealerships," says Brad Hagestad, general manager of Metro VW in Irving, a Dallas suburb.
He adds, "If it creates a little controversy and brings the creative level of automotive advertising up a notch, then great."
Mr. Stevenson calls it "a unique, bold, sexy campaign that grabs your attention and makes you look twice."
The agency contends the campaign may raise blood pressure, emotions and the ire of other dealers. Its "over-the-top" humor aims at getting people to remember Metro Volkswagen, says Mr. Stevenson.
The Hagestad family has owned and operated Metro VW since 1987. It's the 16th highest volume VW dealership in the U.S. and the highest in Texas for 12 straight years.