DDB launches ‘Nightmare spots’ campaign for VW’s parking technology

DDB has launched a press and poster campaign for its oldest client, Volkswagen.

The idea behind the ads is that any parking spot, no matter how precarious it may seem, is easy to negotiate with VW’s Park Assist technology.

The ad series, entitled Nightmare Spots, was by creative team Steve Wakelam and Nick Pringle.

The ads will break from 18 April.

The ECD behind the campaign was Dylan Harrison, who is responsible for VW’s most awarded press campaign of all time – Cops – which he co-created while at DDB London, with recent DDB Sydney departee Simon Veksner.

Harrison told Mumbrella: “All good VW ads are about how a product truth is translated into a human truth. Cops was about how the build rigidity of a VW translated into how people behave around it. These ads are about how VW’s automotive technology make people think differently about parking.”

He added: “There’s a very similar tone of voice in terms of how the driver sees the world. If the campaign is compared to Cops, that can only be a good thing.”

The Nightmare Spots campaign was shot by local photographer Andreas Bommert, while Cops was shot by UK snapper Paul Murphy.


  • Volkswagen:
  • General Manager, Marketing: Jutta Friese
  • Brand Communications Manager: Peter Stewart
  • Advertising Specialist: Loren Elsegood
  • DDB:
  • Executive Creative Director: Dylan Harrison
  • Creative Directors: Steve Wakelam and Nick Pringle
  • Creative Team: Steve Wakelam and Nick Pringle
  • Managing Partner: Nicole Taylor
  • Business Director: Dave Murphy
  • Business Executive: Kim Friedlaender
  • Print Producer: John Wood
  • Art Buyer: Leesa Murray
  • Retouching: Matt Bright
  • Photographer: Andreas Bommert
  • Producer: Grant Navin – Freeway Reps
  • Media Agency: MediaCom


  1. AdGrunt
    18 Apr 12
    12:43 pm

  2. More gold from DDB and VW.

    Engaging demonstration of the parking fear insight.

  3. no-one important
    18 Apr 12
    12:49 pm

  4. Why is the guy under the car when it looks like he’s meant to be changing a tyre? Also I’d be more concerned about running over his legs on the road than reversing into the car.

  5. Jeepers
    18 Apr 12
    1:05 pm

  6. Why an American car? This done for juries? Also it’s not really a campaign but the same ad three times.

  7. simon lawson
    18 Apr 12
    1:14 pm

  8. These are terrific.

  9. Will Ockenden
    18 Apr 12
    1:24 pm

  10. Brilliant ads great insight

  11. Harry
    18 Apr 12
    2:38 pm

  12. Same ad x 3.
    This look, feel and tone of voice is now very, very old.
    DDB should be about tomorrows ideas, looks and thinking… not yesterdays

  13. Nobbs
    18 Apr 12
    3:05 pm

  14. Harry and Jeepers,
    I guarantee that these will win big awards.

    Why? because awards juries understand that this look, feel and tone of voice is the most famously perfect look, feel and tone of voice created in advertising since the early 60s. to change it would be insulting to VW’s heritage.

    Also, a campaign is a a single idea brought to life in 3 different ways. Changing the vehicles is doing exactly that.

    Any objections you have to the above will be answered in about 2 months in Cannes.

    I feel better now.

  15. Craig Peterson
    18 Apr 12
    3:11 pm

  16. Lovely work – brilliantly simple insight. Well done.

  17. Matty
    18 Apr 12
    3:56 pm

  18. A good idea is a good idea regardless of where you see it. Somehow I don’t think a ‘treasure-hunt’-app or a QR code would make this any more relevant than it already is in 2012. Admire it for what it is. It’ll clean-up too.

  19. Some get it... some don't.
    18 Apr 12
    8:27 pm

  20. Really nice, saw these in the Manly Daily… just kidding.

    People asking questions about running over peoples legs or cars have obviously had their thinking polluted by literal / difficult (read: dumb) clients. Or they are that kind of person. Open your minds, smoke something (or stop smoking whatever it is you’re smoking) and enjoy it for what it is – an ad.

  21. Sam Eoldidea
    19 Apr 12
    3:00 pm

  22. Great insight, well executed. Harry, sorry mate you’re wrong. And no-one important, well, enough said.

  23. krzystoff
    1 May 12
    12:07 am

  24. great concept, but what immediately jumps out is how it might have been better executed — in practice these ads show how you can park with confidence with this new technology, so it will appeal only to a limited niche, predominantly elderly or inexperienced drivers?

    it could open up to a whole new demographic with a little tweak — by making the available parking space obviously smaller than normal, it might show drivers that they can achieve something new with VW’s product.

    it’s quite novel to show American cops parked outside a real police station — in reality they only park outside coffee brews and donut shops.

  25. @krzystoff
    1 May 12
    2:44 pm

  26. …or you could credit this ‘whole new demographic’ with a small amount of intelligence.