We Lost the Beetle in 2019. Volkswagen Finally Made a Tribute Video.
Set to music from The Beatles, naturally
We lost the smallest automotive giant last year. The Volkswagen Beetle started as the people’s car of Nazi Germany, became a symbol of hippy culture, then, after 81 years, rolled off the line for the final time in 2019. The end of that icon came and went without much fanfare, until now.
On New Year’s Eve, Volkswagen released a touching tribute to the Beetle called “The Last Mile.” It’s a short animated film that chronicles a boy’s life with a Bug, set to a cover of “Let It Be” by The Beatles, naturally. Grab a couple tissues before hitting play:
Did you catch all the cameos? After eight decades on the world’s roads, the Beetle garnered a diverse fanbase, from Andy Warhol to Kevin Bacon’s character in Footloose to Buzz Aldrin, and Volkswagen snuck them in throughout the video.
“The Last Mile” debuted on ABC’s New Year’s Eve special and was part of a Volkswagen takeover in Times Square that night. As it turns out, VW didn’t forget about the Beetle after all, it was just waiting for a big enough moment to celebrate the king of small cars.
Although, for all the tear-jerking moments packed into the 90 second spot, it might leave a sour taste in the mouth of Beetle fans. At one point, the animated Bug drives by a child holding up a “Think Small” sign, a reference to one of the car’s most famous ad campaigns. But at the end of the film, the facade of one of the company’s new SUVs appears alongside the text “Drive bigger,” signaling the automaker’s new focus on SUVs.
At least when it comes to the size of vehicles, VW is saying goodbye to ingenuity, and hello to conformity.
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