Chances are that you have already seen the black audio box that came along with your morning newspaper on September 21, 2010, and have heard the voice talking about Volkswagen Vento. The latest innovation done by DDB Mudra is being touted as the ‘world’s first talking newspaper with Volkswagen Vento’. exchange4media finds out what went behind this stellar innovation.
It is actually part of a campaign to introduce the Vento, the premium entry level sedan from Volkswagen in India. What the readers of The Hindu in Chennai and The Times of India in Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore got along with the full page ad of Vento was an attached little box, which when pressed, gives voice to the ad and says: “Best in class German engineering is here. The new Volkswagen Vento. Built with great care and highly innovative features, perhaps that’s why it breaks the hearts of our engineers to watch it drive away. The new Volkswagen Vento, crafted with so much passion, it’s hard to let it go. Volkswagen. Das Auto.”
Talking about the innovation, Bobby Pawar, Chief Creative Officer, Mudra Group, said, “The idea came from the fact that there is a lot of passion that goes into the making of Volkwagen Vento, hence the thought of parting with it becomes difficult for the engineers who make the machine. We thought of giving these engineers a voice.”
He added, “The campaign has surely got everyone talking and created a buzz. I would call this as inventive thinking and one would see this campaign supported in 360 degree communications. We would also be looking at apertures in media to create more such surprises.”
Speaking about this innovation Lutz Kothe, Head of Marketing and PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India Pvt Ltd, said, “Our aim was to be able to emotionally connect to our customers with this product and what better way than being able to directly speak to them with the aid of a newspaper.”
It may be recalled that earlier Volkswagen had created a stir for its innovative roadblock for its entry in India. This time, too, it has definitely managed to create a stir.
As Jessie Paul, Founder and CEO of Paul Writer, said on Paulwriter.com about the innovation, “The online world is buzzing about it. If the goal was to generate buzz, the ad is successful. Just type in Volkswagen on Socialmention.com and you will see the amount of online conversation about the ad. Using audio as a means to differentiate was good thinking. But the execution is weak because it doesn’t add value to the experience. For example, if the audio was a recording of the car’s powerful acceleration or even the toot of its horn, it might be more appealing and relevant. It would also have a longer shelf-life as at least the kids would keep it to play with. The absence of branding on the black box was also an opportunity lost.”
She added, “The ad has no call-to-action, which could lead to conversions. There’s no special number to call or SMS to get a test drive – just the usual dealer panel stuck on to the bottom of the ad. A visit to the website (which gets a perfunctory mention on the top right of the ad) also disappoints, the Vento is treated as just another car in the VW stable with no special launch landing page.”