Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Volkswagen (VW) Changing Campaigns
Volkswagen's new campaign from Crispin Porter & Bogusky aims to communicate the emotional experience of being inside its cars with the tagline, "When you get into a Volkswagen, it gets into you."
VW's previous campaign, "three V-dubs for under $17,000" launcehd to change consumers perceptions that its vehicles cost too much. Adage reports Adrian Hallmark, exec VP, Volkswagen of America, saying the strategy worked well in some regions (East and West) and for some models (the Rabbit) but not for the Beetle. "We found a drop in the price of a Beetle did not increase desirability," Hallmarkk said, indicating a one-size-fits-all approach wasn't the answer. "Shouting three for under $17,000 hasn't helped, so we are not going to try to compensate for what we are not."
To convey that theme, it has prepared six national TV spots about to break, and each will use a different song from Wilco's new album, "Sky Blue Sky." Andrew Keller, executive creative director at Crispin, said the words line up well with the VW brand.
In one of the first commercials, a tow-truck driver who enters a GTI he intends to tow is so enchanted he moves the car only a few feet -- out of the no-parking zone.
Mr. Keller said the value-model campaign was "an important step along the way," but he maintains that the brand's core value is that it's fun to drive.
Personally, I think VW should be congratulated on recognizing that its current campaign was not working and deciding to switch. It is never an easy decision for a brand to walk away from an unsuccessful campaign. Sometimes a brand manager or advertising agency may ask themselves if they could have done something more. Fortunately, other brands have changed campaigns quickly in the past. For example, American Express recently decided to change its campaign from 'My Life, My Card' to 'Are you a cardmember?'.