This is one of the most popular ads of all-time, yet I hadn’t even seen it until a few months ago.
Volkswagen – Sad Bus
Publication: Rolling Stone Magazine
The Volkswagen bus had become an icon of the 60’s and was often linked to Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. When Jerry Garcia passed away in 1995, Volkswagen wanted to do something to honour the great musician and his influence on a generation.
As you can see below, the designer of this ad drew a very simply sketch of the classic VW bus, with a tear coming down from one of the headlights. The only words to appear on the ad were “Jerry Garcia 1942 – 1995”. The ad appeared in a special edition of Rolling Stone, and has since become a cult-like icon, also available as a sticker or t-shirt.
For me, this ad is nothing but pure class and Volkswagen established themselves as a credible brand amongst Deadheads. It’s overly simple nature perfectly sums up the essence of a brand, a legend, and an entire generation. It could not have been said any better.
But what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Any 60’s VW bus stories you’d like to share? Please feel free to post your thoughts and comments below.