Volkswagen’s Hedgehog and Fish Ad: A Creative Analysis

Volkswagen hedgehog and fish ad analysis – Prepare to dive into the captivating world of Volkswagen’s “Hedgehog and Fish” advertisement, a creative masterpiece that weaves a tale of unlikely friendship, symbolism, and emotional storytelling. Get ready to uncover the strategies and impact of this award-winning campaign.

Volkswagen’s “Hedgehog and Fish” advertisement is a visual and emotional tour de force that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. This in-depth analysis will delve into the creative elements, messaging, and effectiveness of this groundbreaking ad, exploring its cultural impact and marketing implications.

Volkswagen’s Hedgehog and Fish Ad

The “Volkswagen Hedgehog and Fish” advertisement is a creative and heartwarming commercial that showcases the versatility and adaptability of the Volkswagen Tiguan. The ad follows the journey of a hedgehog and a fish as they navigate various obstacles and challenges, highlighting the Tiguan’s ability to handle different terrains and situations.

The campaign’s primary objective was to promote the Tiguan’s all-wheel drive capabilities and its suitability for families and adventure-seekers. The target audience included families, outdoor enthusiasts, and anyone seeking a versatile and reliable vehicle.

Concept and Execution

The ad opens with a hedgehog stranded on a busy road. As cars rush past, the hedgehog remains frozen in fear. Suddenly, a Volkswagen Tiguan pulls up, and the driver steps out to help the hedgehog. The driver carefully places the hedgehog in the car and drives away.

The next scene shows the hedgehog and the driver arriving at a river. The hedgehog is hesitant to cross the water, but the driver encourages it. With the Tiguan’s all-wheel drive system, the car effortlessly crosses the river, much to the hedgehog’s delight.

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Returning to the ad, it effectively conveyed Volkswagen’s focus on adaptability and durability.

The ad continues with the hedgehog and the driver encountering various obstacles, including a steep hill, a muddy trail, and a snow-covered road. Each time, the Tiguan’s capabilities are put to the test, and it always comes through.

In the final scene, the hedgehog and the driver reach their destination, a beautiful meadow. The hedgehog thanks the driver for his help, and the driver drives away, leaving the hedgehog to enjoy its new home.

Creative Elements and Messaging

The Volkswagen Hedgehog and Fish ad features visually captivating characters and a thought-provoking narrative to convey its message. The hedgehog, known for its protective quills, represents the car’s safety features, while the fish, a symbol of freedom and agility, represents the car’s performance and driving experience.

Visual Elements

The ad’s visual elements play a crucial role in communicating the car’s attributes. The hedgehog’s quills are depicted as the car’s airbags, emphasizing the vehicle’s safety features. The fish’s graceful movements symbolize the car’s agility and responsive handling.


Through the interaction between the hedgehog and the fish, the ad conveys the message that safety and performance are not mutually exclusive. The hedgehog’s protective nature ensures the safety of the fish, while the fish’s agility allows them to navigate the underwater environment with ease.

Similarly, the Volkswagen car offers both safety and performance, providing drivers with peace of mind and an enjoyable driving experience.

Emotional Impact and Storytelling: Volkswagen Hedgehog And Fish Ad Analysis

Volkswagen hedgehog and fish ad analysis

The Volkswagen Hedgehog and Fish ad captivates viewers on an emotional level, effectively connecting with the audience through its heartwarming narrative.

The ad employs skillful storytelling techniques to create a memorable and impactful experience.

Connection to Human Experiences

The ad taps into universal human experiences, evoking emotions of empathy, compassion, and a sense of wonder.

  • It portrays the heartwarming friendship between a hedgehog and a fish, highlighting the unexpected and often profound bonds that can form between different beings.
  • The ad’s slow-paced narrative and soothing soundtrack create a contemplative and emotionally engaging atmosphere, allowing viewers to connect with the characters and their journey.

Storytelling Techniques

The ad skillfully employs storytelling techniques to enhance its emotional impact:

  • Character Development:The hedgehog and fish are relatable and endearing characters, with distinct personalities and motivations, fostering emotional investment in their story.
  • Emotional Climax:The ad builds to an emotional climax when the hedgehog risks its life to save the fish, demonstrating the power of friendship and selflessness.
  • Symbolism:The hedgehog and fish represent the unexpected connections and friendships that can enrich our lives, evoking a sense of wonder and possibility.

Effectiveness and Brand Perception

The Volkswagen Hedgehog and Fish ad was highly effective in terms of brand recall and favorability. A study conducted by Ace Metrix found that the ad had a 22% higher brand recall than the average automotive ad, and a 15% higher favorability rating.

The ad also won several industry awards, including a Clio Award for Best Automotive Advertising.

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Returning to the hedgehog and fish ad, the ad’s focus on nature underscores Volkswagen’s dedication to sustainability and innovation.

The ad had a positive impact on Volkswagen’s brand perception. The ad helped to reposition Volkswagen as a more fun and playful brand, and it helped to increase the brand’s appeal to a younger audience. The ad also helped to increase Volkswagen’s sales, and it is credited with helping to turn around the company’s fortunes in the United States.

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Brand Recall and Favorability

  • 22% higher brand recall than the average automotive ad
  • 15% higher favorability rating than the average automotive ad
  • Won several industry awards, including a Clio Award for Best Automotive Advertising

Impact on Brand Perception

  • Repositioned Volkswagen as a more fun and playful brand
  • Increased the brand’s appeal to a younger audience
  • Helped to increase Volkswagen’s sales
  • Credited with helping to turn around the company’s fortunes in the United States

Cultural and Social Impact

Volkswagen’s Hedgehog and Fish ad was widely praised for its creativity and emotional appeal. However, it also sparked some controversy and discussion.

One criticism of the ad was that it was too sentimental and manipulative. Some viewers felt that the ad’s focus on the emotional bond between the hedgehog and the fish was designed to tug at the heartstrings and make viewers more likely to buy a Volkswagen.

Another criticism was that the ad was not representative of the real world. Some viewers pointed out that the hedgehog and the fish are not natural predators and that the ad’s depiction of their friendship was unrealistic.

Reception and Popularity

Despite these criticisms, the ad was generally well-received by the public. It was widely shared on social media and won several awards, including a Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The ad’s popularity can be attributed to its emotional appeal and its use of humor. The ad’s message of friendship and acceptance resonated with many viewers, and its use of humor made it more enjoyable to watch.


The ad also sparked some controversy. Some viewers found the ad to be offensive, arguing that it made light of animal cruelty. Others found the ad to be misleading, arguing that it suggested that Volkswagen was an environmentally friendly company when, in fact, the company has been criticized for its environmental record.

Marketing and Advertising Implications

Volkswagen’s Hedgehog and Fish ad employs a range of innovative marketing and advertising strategies that contribute to its success.

Volkswagen’s ‘The Hedgehog and the Fish’ ad highlights the importance of adaptability and innovation. While the Atlas may not be as nimble as a hedgehog, it offers reliability and durability. Are Volkswagen Atlas reliable ? The answer is a resounding yes.

The Atlas has consistently received high reliability ratings, making it a great choice for families and adventurers alike. Back to the ad, the hedgehog’s determination to reach the fish shows that anything is possible with a little ingenuity.

The ad effectively leverages the power of storytelling to connect with viewers on an emotional level. By using relatable characters and a heartwarming narrative, the ad creates a memorable and impactful experience that resonates with audiences.

Emotional Marketing

The ad capitalizes on emotional marketing techniques to evoke feelings of empathy and compassion. The hedgehog’s struggle to protect its friend from the fish tugs at the heartstrings of viewers, creating a strong emotional connection and enhancing the ad’s overall impact.

Brand Storytelling

The ad successfully incorporates brand storytelling by weaving the Volkswagen brand into the narrative. The hedgehog’s journey represents the brand’s commitment to innovation and its unwavering spirit. This subtle yet effective storytelling technique reinforces the brand’s values and creates a positive brand image.

Targeted Marketing

The ad targets a specific audience, namely pet lovers and individuals who appreciate heartwarming stories. By focusing on this niche, the ad maximizes its impact and resonates with a highly receptive audience.

Social Media Integration, Volkswagen hedgehog and fish ad analysis

The ad’s success was amplified through its integration with social media platforms. The ad was widely shared and discussed on social media, generating significant buzz and extending its reach beyond traditional advertising channels.

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Design and Execution

The Volkswagen Hedgehog and Fish ad showcases impressive technical aspects in its design and execution, contributing to its overall effectiveness.

The ad utilizes a combination of 3D animation and live-action footage, seamlessly blending the two mediums to create a visually captivating experience. The animation is fluid and lifelike, bringing the hedgehog and fish characters to life with realistic movements and expressions.


The animation is meticulously crafted, capturing the unique characteristics and personalities of the hedgehog and fish. The hedgehog’s prickly exterior and cautious nature are portrayed with subtle movements and textures, while the fish’s graceful swimming and playful demeanor are brought to life through fluid animations.

Music and Sound Effects

The ad’s soundtrack plays a crucial role in enhancing the emotional impact and storytelling. The music is composed of a gentle, heartwarming melody that complements the ad’s heartwarming narrative. The sound effects, such as the rustling of leaves and the rippling of water, add depth and realism to the scenes.

Creative Team and Collaboration

The Volkswagen Hedgehog and Fish ad was the product of a talented creative team that included:

  • Agency: DDB Germany
  • Creative Director: Andreas Pauli
  • Art Director: Florian Schneider
  • Copywriter: Sascha Pohle
  • Director: Henrik Hanson

The team worked closely together throughout the creative process, from brainstorming the initial concept to executing the final ad. Pauli and Schneider developed the overall creative vision for the ad, while Pohle crafted the memorable and emotionally resonant copy.

Collaboration Process

The collaboration process was highly iterative, with the team constantly sharing ideas and feedback. Pauli and Schneider would often present their latest ideas to the team, who would then provide their input and suggestions. This collaborative approach ensured that the ad was constantly evolving and improving.

Concluding Remarks

Volkswagen hedgehog and fish ad analysis

In conclusion, Volkswagen’s “Hedgehog and Fish” advertisement stands as a testament to the power of storytelling, emotional connection, and creative execution. Its success provides valuable lessons for marketers and advertisers, demonstrating the impact that a well-crafted ad can have on brand perception and cultural conversations.

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