Volkswagen kicked off its new Drive Bigger campaign with a new commercial, "Hello Light," during the NBA Finals.

Volkswagen has paid billions of dollars as part of the company’s punishment for cheating on diesel emissions testing on vehicles in the U.S. and around the world in 2015. Since then, the company has been working to move away from diesels and develop a new family of EVs to replace them.

During the past two years, the German automaker has unveiled a slew of new battery-electrics that will show up in dealerships starting this fall. Now, the automaker is looking to convince American buyers that it has learned from its mistakes and to trust them again.

The new ad campaign, Drive Bigger, began with a commercial titled “Hello Light” during Game Three of the NBA Finals. The ad shows a designer listening to a mashup of the reports about the scandal as he sketches out a new vehicle. The rest of the commercial follows the evolution of that vehicle from idea to finished product. 

“This campaign is for all of those we disappointed, all of those who stayed with us, those who worked like crazy to keep us moving forward and for all of those who stopped caring,” said Scott Keogh, president and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America.  “We have a responsibility to do better, to be greater and we intend to shoulder that responsibility.”

(Half of states wasting $3 billion fine VW paid for dieselgate. Click Here for the story.)

VW's new I.D. Buzz is featured in the company's new ad campaign focusing on the pending arrival of its EVs.

Keogh took the reins of VWoA this winter after holding the same post with Audi of America for several years. He walked into a tough spot and the campaign is the first step in emerging from, well, the darkness that preceeded his arrival.

The Drive Bigger phase of the campaign begins June 11. In form, tone and copy, the advertising marks a return to the thoughtful, fun and unassuming Volkswagen ads of the 1950s and ’60s. The campaign includes work that highlights VW’s current fleet as well as its coming electric fleet. The work will run in print media, as well as on TV, digital and social platforms.

As part of that “emergence,” Volkswagen Group has set a target of global carbon neutrality across its fleet, production and administration by 2050. The company is adopting the goals of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. By 2025, the company intends to reduce its global carbon footprint by 30%.

(Click Here to see why VW was tagged with $1B fine in Germany for diesel-cheating scandal.)

The Volkswagen Group has made one of the world’s largest commitments to electric vehicle production – a planned investment of more than $50 billion through 2028, with 70 new electric vehicles coming to market around the world, including next year’s planned American launch of a compact electric SUV, inspired by the Volkswagen ID. Crozz concept car.

Volkswagen plans to bring an all-electric sport-ute to the U.S. in 2020 based on the ID Crozz.

Drive Bigger means the company will use its platforms and resources so a nonprofit organization, America Scores, can produce and air a national TV spot during the World Cup at no cost. The campaign debuts the creative work from New York-based Johannes Leonardo, Volkswagen of America’s new lead brand agency.

“This brand platform we are launching with Volkswagen will act as a north star for the company to ultimately transform their business,” said Jan Jacobs, co-founder and CCO of Johannes Leonardo. “We’re embarking on arguably the most important chapter in the history of one of the world’s best advertisers. We are honored to be part of it.”

(Investor suit against VW AG gets underway. Click Here for the story.)

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