It’s only fitting that the most popular car in Brazil is called Gol, the Portuguese word for Goal. And it’s also only fitting that, during the World Cup, AlmapBBDO and Volkswagen are sending 7 Brazilian-made, 2014 edition Gols back to Germany, in an effort to reset the balance of the footballing universe after the stunning match in the penultimate World Cup where the Brazilian national team suffered the worst defeat in its history, a 7-1 loss to Germany. Though the two teams have since met again with less dramatic results, Brazil’s 200 million-plus fans haven’t gotten over the stinging defeat that still scars the “land of football.” Since the Volkswagen Gol is slated to be discontinued this December, the manufacturer has decided to make one last gesture toward historical reparations. In an initiative developed by AlmapBBDO, seven units of the car’s 2014 model will be sent straight from Brazil to Germany. Who knows, maybe that way the jinx will be broken.
The connection between the car and football is a deep one. Volkswagen is well-known in the mobility market for making cars with names that reference different sports, such as the Polo, the Golf, and the Derby. The Brazilian-born Gol is no different and was created as a tribute to a nation known for its footballing prowess. The Portuguese word “gol” signifies both the physical goal, which stands 2.44 meters high and 7.32 meters wide, and the successful scoring of a goal into the net.
People’s attachment to the Gol, whether on the streets or on the pitch, made the model into a runaway sales success in Brazil, with over 8 million units rolling out of factories. And those spectacular numbers were echoed in gameplay. Brazil has now been waiting for eight years to get its revenge on its European rival. According to Livia Kinoshita, the executive director of marketing at Volkswagen, it’s only fair to help Brazil shake off the ghosts of its past and bid farewell to that trauma in iconic fashion.
“This is a stunt that only Volkswagen could pull off. We wanted to thank Brazilians for all the love they’ve given us, and we wanted to do it now, at such an important time for the country: the World Cup. We’re going to return seven 2014-model Gols to Germany to show that Brazilians can poke fun at themselves, and to wish the Brazilian national team the best of luck!”
The model is being discontinued to make way for the brand’s latest entry-level model, the new Polo Track, which is more high-tech, resilient, and safer than its predecessor. As Fernando Duarte of AlmapBBDO sees it, Gol is just repaying all the love it’s received from Brazilians. “After such a long and remarkable history, the Gol couldn’t go off without a send-off. And it had to go off in style.”
The seven 2014-model Gols were shipped before Brazil’s first match at the World Cup and are currently on the way to Germany, where they’ll go for one last ride before being sent to the company’s headquarters.