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Writer: exchange4media News Service - Tuesday, May 29,2012 2:22 AM

Talking ad seals the deal for Volkswagen

BRAND: VOLKSWAGEN VENTO

BRAND OWNER: VOLKSWAGEN

CAMPAIGN TITLE: PEOPLE READ NEWSPAPERS…TILL VENTO MADE THE NEWSPAPER TALK!

DATE RANGE: 2010

COUNTRIES: INDIA

AWARDS WON:
GRAND EMVIE, 2011
GOLD, BEST MEDIA INNOVATION (PRINT) EMVIES 2011
GOLD, BEST USE OF MAGAZINES AND NEWSPAPERS, GOAFEST 2011
RESULTS AWARDS 2011, HONORABLE MENTION

It’s no secret that automobile sellers and buyers love the print medium. But with over 30 high-budget brand launches in a year, the challenge for Volkswagen was to use this critical medium to create a stir…

Nearly seven million readers woke up to a newspaper ad which actually spoke to them. This historical innovation (a first in the world of advertising) helped Vento achieve 12 per cent of its annual sales target in a single day.

For consumers, the car which they drive speaks volumes about who they are. More than a functional means of transportation, the car is a lifestyle statement. Thus the car to be seen in (and most desired) is the car that everyone is talking about.

Research clearly established newspapers as the highest affinity medium for the affluent car buyers in metro cities. However with nearly two car launches per month, newspapers are cluttered with car ads in every conceivable shape, size and format.

At one third the budget of conventional brand launches, how could Volkswagen launch its new sedan, the Vento and also create an awareness surge among the Indian car buyers?

Consumers may have got tired of seeing car ads in newspapers – but how would they like to ‘hear’ an ad? Thus was born the ‘talking newspaper’ innovation – which created advertising history, not just in India, but around the world.

Execution
As soon as the reader flipped open his newspaper it spoke to him about the features of the car – garnering consumer attention like never before across India.

The ad was carried in over 2.4 million copies of the top English publications, ‘The Times of India’ and ‘The Hindu’ and awed more than 6.8 million readers across the nation.

The talking advertisement was made possible by a light-sensitive device weighing just a few grams.

The idea was to create this iPod-sized device embedded with a chip. These light sensitive devices were distributed attached to the newspapers. It took six months and co-ordination with four suppliers to make this project see the light of day.
 

The result
The concept of a ‘talking newspaper’ is a winner as it re-defined the medium. The print medium was considered to be very un-interactive but this idea combined the reach and popularity of newspapers with the interactivity and engaging capacity of technology.

The brand results were phenomenal: 12 per cent of the annual sales targets for the Vento were met in a single day. Dealer inquiries rose by 200 per cent.

Volkswagen Vento was the hottest search word on Google trends that day. By 10 AM that morning there were 46 videos of the talking newspaper uploaded online.

It created such as buzz that the Police Commissioner of Mumbai had to send messages re-assuring people that it was just an ad and not a terrorist attack.

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