An Iconic Brand

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Paying tribute to the ‘Kombi’ Van – through video

Last year, we said good-bye to Volkswagen’s iconic “hippie van”. It appears that the van would like to bid a fond farewell to us too, as the YouTube channel Volkswagen Brasil has come up with a short film to pay tribute to this iconic vehicle. 

Told from the point of view of the Kombi, this nostalgic film shows how this van was conceived and manufactured. The film also thanks the most loyal fans of the van, who have stuck by it through thick and thin.

The Kombi also “gave” these fans some parting gifts to remember it by—the presents include a sketchpad shaped like the van itself as well as its various auto parts.

Bid this van farewell as you watch the video:

An iconic van, forever linked to an iconic brand. This is a perfect example of what emotional connections we can develop for products, experiences and brands. For most of us, we look towards the kombi van with affection, nostalgia in many cases, and a timeless respect for what is truly an unique piece of engineering. And how fitting that the ‘creatives’ who produced this video understand this all too well, realise that there are still many out there across the globe who love their kombi vans and what they symbolise… and the personal connection that they still hold dear. Otherwise, why even consider making it? To create such a video could only be considered and ‘pulled off’ because of the clear power (and importance) of the brand itself. I mean who wouldn’t know what a VW Kombi Van was?

As this video demonstrates, so many have a story… as i do myself. I can cast my mind back and remember sunny summer days ‘cruising’ with my best mate, as kids, sitting in the back of the ‘bus’ as his parents drove us through the beautiful Coromandel peninsular of New Zealand on route to our annual christmas holiday destination where we would park up and camp and ultimately run a-muck, enjoying a great childhood. Fun times, great friendships and what a vehicle to get us there. It became an association of enjoyment, good times and the childhood experience of open spaces, fresh air and no commitments.

Or, taking off on my big OE (overseas adventure) with friends and all chipping in to buy a ‘used’ VW van, a van eager to take yet another long trip around the circuit of Europe, transporting young and eager lads to see the sights and experiences that are on offer for all to enjoy, across countries and through cities that we’d grown up hearing about. There was something very cool and iconic about doing the trip in a Kombi, perhaps because they are the vehicle of choice back in the day when Aussies and Kiwis started making it an annual pilgrimage and it was important for us to up-keep that tradition, perhaps because they were so multifunctional… you could eat, sleep and certainly ‘party’ in them… whatever the case, they looked cool in any situation. Even in the 90’s and 2000’s forty plus year old vans were still on the road going strong, albeit getting a bit weary and sluggish,  but hanging in there for another year… and another year… and another!

They became a symbolic figure and have an army of brand advocates who simply believe it was the greatest van, if not vehicle, ever made. They are desired and sought after and I’m not sure of anyone who would be unhappy if they had one sitting in the driveway.

End of an era, but what a life.

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