Thinkboxes May/June 2012 Winner: VW Polo’s 'Dad' by DDB London

Car manufacturer Volkswagen wanted to take all the positive perceptions people have about its Polo brand, such as its build quality, well-engineered design and high levels of safety and reliability, and make them relevant to its audience. It aimed to do this through a campaign that would cut through, with the intention of getting people talking about Volkswagen and Polo.

The resulting 90-second spot tracks the evolving relationship between a father and daughter, from the moment he brings her home from the hospital, sheltering her under his coat from the rain, to the day she leaves home, when he hands her the keys to a Polo – ensuring she ‘stays in safe hands’.

“We told our story in a genuine and human way that has really touched all kinds of people, be they teenage girls, parents or grandparents,” says Kirsten Stagg, National Communications Manager at Volkswagen.

Russ Lidstone, chief executive of Euro RSCG and a Thinkbox Academy member, says the ad represents what every father wants for his daughter.

‘It’s a universal truth, wrapped up undeniably and beautifully in the Volkswagen proposition and wonderfully executed. I can’t confirm or deny whether I shed a tear,’ he adds.


This makes me proud and is down to a touching script, written by DDB, that was beautifully executed by our directors. If you want to emotionally connect with people, you need time to tell a story well.

Kirsten Stagg National Communications Manager, Volkswagen

Client VW; Ad Agency DDB London; Director thirtytwo; ECD: Jeremy Craigen: Creative team; Tom Chancellor / Luke Flynn

Other ads on the podium

Hovis Farmer’s lad  (2nd)

  • Creative agency Dare;
  • Creative team Danny Brooke-Taylor, Danny Hunt, Gavin Torrance;
  • Client Matt Hunt;
  • Production company Academy;
  • Director Seb Edwards

British Airways Home advantage (3rd)

  • Creative agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty
  • Creative team Matt Moreland, Chris Clarke, Justin Moore, Hamish Pinnell
  • Clients Abi Comber, Kate Jenkins
  • Production company Partizan
  • Director Michael Geoghegan

Other ads on the podium

Halfords The trip

  • Creative agency DLKW Lowe
  • Creative team Richard Denney, Dave Henderson
  • Client Andy Brotherton
  • Production company Another Film Company
  • Director Frederic Planchon

Honda The more we look, the more

  • Creative agency Wieden & Kennedy
  • Creative team Ben Shaffery, Max Batten;
  • Client Martin Moll
  • Production company 2AM;
  • Director James Caddick

A view from a Thinkbox Academy member on this month's picks

John Townshend

The Polo spot continues a noble tradition of moving Volkswagen ads. I nearly cried when I first watched it. A father, who has for years sheltered his daughter, finally watches her leave home. In a VW Polo. Of course

John Townshend Founder, Now

Click here to see who won the previous award

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