Posts Tagged ‘May 28th’

Can We Change Wolfsburg to Puppytown?

Posted in General, On This Day on May 28th, 2011 by Eugene Finerman – 2 Comments

Can you find the silver lining in a nuclear bomb cloud?  Do you view corruption and crime as alternate creativity?  And are you too lazy for journalism, not clever enough for advertising, and too uncoordinated for three-card Monte?  Then you should consider a career in Public Relations!

Do you have what it takes?  Just take this simple test.  Here is a quote that might be a bit awkward for a certain corporation.  All you have to do is improve the truth!

May 28, 1937:

Volkswagen is founded

On this day in 1937, the government of Germany–then under the control of Adolf Hitler of the National Socialist (Nazi) Party–forms a new state-owned automobile company, then known as Gesellschaft zur Vorbereitung des Deutschen Volkswagens mbH. Later that year, it was renamed simply Volkswagenwerk, or “The People’s Car Company.”

Originally operated by the German Labor Front, a Nazi organization, Volkswagen was headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. In addition to his ambitious campaign to build a network of autobahns and limited access highways across Germany, Hitler’s pet project was the development and mass production of an affordable yet still speedy vehicle that could sell for less than 1,000 Reich marks (about $140 at the time). To provide the design for this “people’s car,” Hitler called in the Austrian automotive engineer Ferdinand Porsche. In 1938, at a Nazi rally, the Fuhrer declared: “It is for the broad masses that this car has been built. Its purpose is to answer their transportation needs, and it is intended to give them joy.”

Goodness, what unpleasant details!  How can Public Relations enhance the story?  Here is an example….

Happy Birthday, You Adorable Beetle!

On this day in 1937, Germany thought of a car as cute as their Steiff stuffed animals. Introduced by a well-known vegetarian with a sweet-tooth (hint, he might be Charlie Chaplin!), the cuddly, affordable little vehicle was called the People’s Car.  And what could be friendlier than that!

So, Happy Birthday, you folksy Volksy!