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Volkswagen - "Bollocks" - adam&eveDDB

  • Bollocks
  • Volkswagen
  • Volkswagen
  • adam&eveDDB
  • United Kingdom
  • Don't forget it's a diesel
Product NameDiesel
Product CategoryCars
MarketUnited Kingdom
Date of First Broadcast/PublicationJanuary 1, 2003
Media TypeTelevision & Cinema
Length40 Seconds
Awards IPA Effectiveness Awards, 2004 (Silver) for
IPA Effectiveness Awards, 2004 (Best Idea) for
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, 2004 (Silver Lion) for Cars
Advertising Creative Circle Awards, 2004 (Bronze) for Ken Grimshaw Memorial Honour for Best Use of Humour
Advertising Creative Circle Awards, 2004 (Silver) for Best Use of Dialogue
Advertising Creative Circle Awards, 2004 (Silver) for Best Use of Production Budget under £40,000
Advertising Creative Circle Awards, 2004 (Silver) for Best Commercial
Advertising Creative Circle Awards, 2004 (Gold) for Best Viral Version of a Commercial
Advertising Creative Circle Awards, 2004 (Gold) for Best Idea in 40 Seconds
British Arrows, 2004 (Silver) for Commercials (also ran on TV)
British Arrows, 2004 (Silver) for Virals
Production Company Bliss Films
Creative Director Dan Hubert
Creative Director Amber Casey
Art Director Amber Casey
Creative Team Dan Hubert
Creative Team Amber Casey
Copywriter Dan Hubert
Director Jackie Oudney
Production Company Producer Maddy Coburn
Cameraman Tom McDougall
Lighting Director / Lighting Tom McDougall
Account Planner Ben Malbon
Account Planner Sarah Carter
Agency Producer Maggie Blundell
Sound Designer Dan Pemberton
Advertising Manager Rod McLeod
Econometrician Les Binet
Don't Forget It's a Diesel


A young girl says 'bollocks' whenever something doesn't go her way. We learn where she gets it from when her dad says it when he realises he has accidentally put petrol in his diesel engine Volkswagen.


Volkswagen decided to capitalise on the new legislation, not least because Volkswagen make more in revenue terms from Diesel than they do from petrol and because Volkswagen had just introduced 2 more highly powered and highly priced diesel engines.
The objective was to increase the diesel share of total Volkswagen sales. The main job for communications would be to overcome the negative perceptions of diesel cars in consumers minds. Diesel cars were thought to be sluggish and dirty. They were thought to be unstylish cars driven by unstylish people.
DDB developed a campaign that single mindedly set out to persuade people that Volkswagen diesels were just as good as petrol. The creative challenge was to convince potential diesel drivers that they’d be able to forget they were driving a diesel. The campaign was carefully integrated to ensure that the message felt ubiquitous. TV and poster were used to drive awareness and were supported with advertising on petrol pump nozzles, a DM pack with a ‘Don’t forget it’s a diesel’ self-inking rubber stamp was sent to fleet managers and packs of forget-me-not seeds were altered to feature a diesel message and tipped on in motoring titles.


While sales of petrol cars have traditionally dominated the UK car market, during 2001 it became clear that the near future would provide a window of opportunity for dramatic and sustained growth in the diesel sector. Legislative changes due to come into effect in April 2002 meant that company car drivers were now to be taxed on the CO² emissions of their engines rather than the miles driven per annum. This would clearly favour diesel cars – they generally have lower CO² emissions than petrol cars.


The campaign produced impressive results. Volkswagen achieved everything it set out to. Diesel sales became a larger percentage of Volkswagen sales, sales of higher-powered diesels increased, people paid more for Volkswagen diesels, diesel sales revenues increased, and while Volkswagen became market leader in diesel, overtaking long-time rival Peugeot, the Golf became the UK’s best-selling Diesel car. Econometric modelling of UK performance suggests an incremental revenue return for Volkswagen during the period 2002-2003 £180.2m against a communications investment of £12.3m