Volkswagen’s stylish new ad features a woman who can’t get comfortable (almost) anywhere

Johannes Leonardo and director Bjorn Rühmann make the case for an accessible yet luxurious entry-level SUV

Published On
Oct 20, 2023
A woman lying uncomfortably on a recliner in a therapist's office

Editor's Pick

Product as gateway to chronic problems—not the most traditional path, but a fun one if you get the humorous tone right. And this latest Volkswagen spot from Johannes Leonardo and Smuggler director Bjorn Rühmann has just the right level of hyperbole and playfulness to work wonderfully.

In it, we meet a woman who, inscrutably at first, can’t seem to get comfortable. Every chair is wrong—almost like she’s Goldilocks, looking for the perfect fit. The cinematic style, and the French music, combine to deliver a pleasantly wry tone. And for TV viewers who won’t know it’s a car commercial to begin with, the payoff—while clearly an exaggeration—still feels relatable and true.


“Our goal for ‘No Going Back’ was to tell a compelling story of how quality does not apply to everything we seek. And once you’ve experienced the level of quality that Volkswagen brings, it’s hard to go back,” said Jonathan Santana, executive creative director at Johannes Leonardo. “The work’s narrative and creative elements work together to portray the quality and craftsmanship that sets the Taos apart, resonating with those who appreciate a touch of style in their everyday lives, emphasizing that affordable luxury can be attainable for all.”

“Our consumers should not have to sacrifice on quality, no matter what caliber of vehicle they’re driving,” added Rachael Zaluzec, senior VP of customer experience and marketing at Volkswagen of America. “This campaign speaks to the quality, comfort and value that come with investing in an entry-level SUV like the VW Taos.”


Oct 20, 2023
Client :
Agency :
Johannes Leonardo
President :
Pablo Di Si
Chief Marketing Officer :
Andrew Savvas
Marketing Director :
Duncan Movassaghi
Chief Marketing Officer :
Rachael Zaluzec
Content Director :
Jennifer Clayton
Manager :
Megan Becker
Founder :
Jan Jacobs
Founder :
Leo Premutico
Executive Creative Director :
Jonathan Santana
Associate Creative Director :
Julian Cohen
Associate Creative Director :
Idriss Dabre
Design Director :
Olga Vladova
Head of Production :
Tasha Cronin
Executive Producer :
Rebecca O'Neill
Executive Producer :
Adam Perloff
Producer :
Carlos Valdivia
Director of Business Affairs :
Alesa Blanchard-Nelson
Business Affairs Manager :
Denise Klapp
Business Affairs Manager :
Emily Tan
Account Director :
Sam McCallum
Account Director :
Jackson Klein
Account Director :
Vlad Omazic
Account Manager :
Devon Houston
Chief Strategy Officer :
Steve Zaroff
Strategy Director :
Mary Bakarich
Communications Director :
Cooper Lemon
Strategist :
Kat Logan
Production :
Director :
Bjorn Ruhmann
Executive Producer :
Patrick Milling-Smith
Executive Producer :
Brian Carmody
Executive Producer :
Allison Kunzman
Managing Director :
Sue Yeon Ahn
Head of Production :
Alex Hughes
Producer :
Alexandra Lisee
Production Supervisor :
Josh Lieberman
Coordinator :
Nate Gibson
1st AD :
George Nessis
Director of Photography :
Mike Gioulakis
Production Designer :
Jade Healy
Casting :
Maya Adrabi
Costume Designer :
April Napier
Editorial :
Final Cut
Editor :
Jeff Buchanan
Edit Assistant :
Hugo Faraco
Producer :
Michael Dart Wadsworth
Head of Production :
Penny Ensley
Executive Producer :
Sarah Roebuck
Managing Director :
Justin Brukman
Post Production & VFX :
Shoot Supervisor :
Ben Kwok
2D Lead :
Lee Towndrow
2D Lead :
Robert Bruce
Colorist :
Mikey Pehanich
Color Assistant :
Sam Howells
Color Assistant :
Matt Gehl
Head of Production :
Perry Tate
Color Producer :
Adam Vevang
Producer :
Kevin Liu
Coordinator :
Joey Witten
Music / Sound :
Wave Studios
Sound Designer :
Chris Afzal
Executive Producer :
Vicky Ferraro
Producer :
Eleni Giannopoulos

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