“Damn good book.”
—Ed McCabe, Co-Founder, President, Worldwide Creative Director of Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Inc.

144 pp, 60 b/w visuals. Published on September 28, 2016.

Order now the paperback:

United States · United Kingdom · Canada · Germany · France · Italy · Spain · Japan · India

It was a Manhattan advertising agency, too.

Created in 1959 by Doyle Dane Bernbach and continued through the 1960s and early ’70s, the campaign for the Volkswagen Beetle is considered the best of all time.


 More than just promoting a car, it promoted a new kind of advertising.

Charming. Intelligent. Honest.


And the Volkswagen ads didn’t change the ethos of advertising only.

They helped trigger the cultural revolution of the 1960s.


Based on exclusive interviews with a lot of the advertising greats involved in the campaign (as well as with Carl H. Hahn, head of Volkswagen of America from 1959 to 1964), Ugly Is Only Skin-Deep will change how you think about the art of persuasion and the power of creativity.


“Dominik Imseng has done an amazing job of weaving personality, history and practice into a wonderfully written book.” —Steven Heller, School of Visual Arts, NYC


I can’t recommend it highly enough. Get it.” —Neil French, former Worldwide Creative Director of WPP and author of Sorry for the Lobsters


“A timely as well as masterful piece of work.” —Richard Huntington, Chief Strategy Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi London, Adliterate


“Pure inspiration that makes you love the business all over again.” —Edward Boches, Professor of Advertising at Boston University and former Partner and Chief Creative Officer of Mullen Lowe


“Dominik Imseng helps us understand why the Volkswagen campaign changed advertising.” —Dave Dye, Stuff from the Loft


“Do yourself and your career a favor. Forgo two days’ worth of pretentious caffeine. Spend your money instead on Mr Imseng’s surpassing book.” —George Tannenbaum, Ad Aged


“If the author’s command of his subject is masterful, then his ability to tell it as a story is even more impressive.” —Steve Harrison, author of How to Do Better Creative Work and Changing the World is the Only Fit Work for a Grown Man



Dominik Imseng (b. 1968) received a M.A. in Philosophy, German Literature and History of Art from the University of Zurich. He works as a copywriter and journalist in Switzerland and regularly interviews advertising greats.

Feel free to get in touch with him (and maybe even book him for a talk about the Volkswagen campaign).