Few other cars are quite as iconic as the Beetle. We knew the farewell needed to be as poignant as the car’s importance in culture.
We partnered with London and LA based production company Nexus Studios along with director FX Goby on The Last Mile. We used a rotoscope animation technique, where we shot the entire story live action and animated over each frame, to give it a unique aesthetic in the color palette derived from the eras of the Beetle’s life. For the music, we created an original composition of 'Let It Be' sang by the Pro Musica Youth Chorus.
Our film tells the story of a young boy growing up with his Beetle. After a lifetime on the road, we see thousands of Americans from coast to coast, from era to era, coming to say goodbye.
When you watch the film, you may catch references to the advertising that helped make it such a success in the U.S – like “Think Small” and “Lemon”. Then, there are the people whose lives and careers have been influenced by the VW Beetle. Andy Warhol, who did a print series of VW Beetle in the 1960s; Kevin Bacon, who played Ren McCormack in Footloose and whose Volkswagen Beetle was emblematic of the 60's counter-culture that Ren was bringing into the small midwestern town. Then of course, we chose Andy Cohen, an avid beetle influencer for today's generation.
But from the beginning it was very important to us that these familiar faces were treated the same as everyone else, as to not put anyone on a pedestal. Like the great equalizer that the Beetle was for society and culture, we wanted its goodbye to embody that same spirit.
In a final act of benevolence, the Beetle transforms into a lightning bug and lights up the new all-electric Volkswagen ID. CROZZ – sacrificing itself for a better future.
On social media, we encouraged Beetle fans to post their favorite memories of their car. Each post was united under #TheLastMile and a simple motif: Say g(o\!/o)dbye. Even big name Beetle fans like Andy Cohen posted to say farewell.