The Vee-dub camper van hits 60 – but what makes a brand like this iconic?

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A photo of a VW camper van grabbed my attention on the BBC News website yesterday and I read on to discover that it’s celebrating its 60th birthday.

It’s the kind of picture that has serious pulling power and it got me thinking about what it was that made the camper stand out so brightly from the crowd and what makes it such an iconic brand? 

I guess that it’s about buying into more than just a product. With a brand like this, you purchase your own piece of popular culture and the feeling that comes along with it. The camper van epitomises summertime and freedom as it has always been a firm favourite with rock stars, surfers and globe trotters. It reaches out further than those who adore all-things-retro and can take you to a time and place that you’ve never even been.

With a brand like VW, you’re driven (sorry) by emotion and feelings rather than rational thought. Campers certainly wouldn’t win any prizes for reliability and don’t come cheaply either. But, the brand has the passion, purpose and authenticity that creates unprecedented loyalty and mass adoration.

We hear time and time again that our client, Swizzels Matlow’s sweets, (such as Love Hearts, Rainbow Drops and Parma Violets) take people straight back to their playground days. Swizzels Matlow, like VW has managed to perfectly capture something within its product that is timeless and created a brand that is built to last.