Volkswagen Celebrates 75 Years in the U.S. with Super Bowl Ad Featuring Herbie the Love Bug

Iconic car manufacturer Volkswagen pays homage to its 75-year history in the U.S. with a nostalgic Super Bowl ad that showcases pop-culture highlights and the beloved Herbie the Love Bug.

Volkswagen of America is commemorating its 75th anniversary in the United States with a highly anticipated Super Bowl ad. The 60-second commercial, titled “An American Love Story,” will air during the third quarter of the game on CBS and Univision. Directed by Lance Acord, who also helmed Volkswagen’s popular 2011 commercial “The Force,” the ad takes viewers on a journey through the brand’s history, highlighting iconic moments and cultural references. With an investment of millions of dollars, Volkswagen aims to captivate audiences and celebrate its enduring presence in the American automotive landscape.

A Nostalgic Trip Down Memory Lane

The Super Bowl ad, set to Neal Diamond’s 1971 hit “I Am… I Said,” seamlessly blends Volkswagen’s arrival in the U.S. in 1949 with the present day. The commercial opens with black-and-white footage, transitioning to color as it moves through the decades. Viewers are treated to a whirlwind of pop-culture references, from the iconic VW Bus carrying surfers and hippies in the 1960s and ’70s to the electric vehicles of today. The ad is a visual feast, evoking a sense of nostalgia and celebrating Volkswagen’s evolution over the years.

Herbie the Love Bug Takes Center Stage

One of the standout moments in the commercial is the appearance of Herbie the Love Bug, the lovable Volkswagen Beetle with a mind of its own. Scenes from Disney’s Herbie franchise make a notable appearance, reminding viewers of the enduring popularity and charm of the character. While the 2005 Lindsay Lohan installment is absent, the ad pays tribute to the beloved car’s legacy and its place in American pop culture.

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A Playful Homage to The Simpsons

The ad also features a playful nod to the long-running animated series, The Simpsons. Bart and Lisa are seen engaging in a classic back-seat game of “Punch Buggy,” where participants spot a Volkswagen Type 1, affectionately known as the Beetle or the Bug, and playfully punch their companions. This reference adds a touch of lightheartedness and familiarity to the commercial, resonating with fans of the show and showcasing the Beetle’s ubiquitous presence on American roads.

Pre-Game Debut and Post-Game Promotion

Ahead of its Super Bowl debut, the extended two-minute version of the ad will be unveiled at a media preview for the Chicago Auto Show. This longer cut will also be available on a mobile app for current Volkswagen owners. Following the game, the 60-second version will be released online and on social media platforms, serving as the centerpiece for Volkswagen’s ongoing 75-year anniversary celebrations.


Volkswagen’s Super Bowl ad is a testament to the brand’s enduring legacy and its deep roots in American culture. By showcasing iconic moments and beloved characters like Herbie the Love Bug, the commercial strikes a nostalgic chord with viewers. The ad’s clever use of pop-culture references, from The Simpsons to vintage VW Bus footage, adds an extra layer of entertainment and familiarity. As Volkswagen celebrates 75 years in the U.S., this Super Bowl ad serves as a reminder of the brand’s lasting impact and its continued commitment to innovation and excellence.