Their openness to new ideas is shown clearly in their choice of a jewish advertising agency, for a company that was founded by the Nazis only a few decades earlier. "The “Think Small” and “Lemon” ads were not intentional.“Think Small” was a note written by Julian Koenig at BBD in reaction to the original creative contrasting VW with large American cars. “Lemon” was a comment made by Rita Selden on one of the proposed ads.The headline for the original VW ad was intended to be “Willkommen”The client (Carl Hahn) thought it was too German. He firmly believed that in order to compete against well entrenched American brands it had to be “as American as Apple Strudel”."(http://www.brandstories.net/2012/11/03/vw-beetle-story-lesson-in-brand-persona-development/). This understanding of needing to embrace another markets culture to ensure sales is common place today, but at the time it was merely a fledgling idea. So while the ad is simple, the ideals it represents are much larger.
The fact of the matter if they would have tried to become exactly what everyone else was it wouldn't have worked. That doesn't mean that they could just do what ever the brand desired, as the American public wasn't really ready for them. “You just went from wondering if it was socially acceptable to even own such a vehicle to having a cute nickname for it.” (https://designshack.net/articles/graphics/the-greatest-print-campaigns-of-all-time-volkswagen-think-small/) By keeping it simple, and even a little bit self degradation, they controlled the conversation around their product.