Volkswagen launches first brand campaign in India

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | November 10, 2009
In a bid to build brand awareness in India, German car manufacturer Volkswagen will launch its first television commercial on November 11

German car manufacturer Volkswagen announced its first brand campaign in India. The first television commercial, developed by DDB Mudra, will be aired on November 11.

Relatively new to the Indian automobile market, Volkswagen admits that the task at hand is to build brand awareness in the country.

"We are fairly new in the market. The brand awareness of Volkswagen is low. We have to raise awareness, create and improve the brand," says Lutz Kothe, chief general manager, marketing and public relations, Volkswagen India.

With a similar insight, the TVC shows a young boy in a Volkswagen showroom deciding on the cars that he wants to 'book in advance' at various stages of his life - one for his 18th birthday, one when he becomes the 'vice-president' of a company and another when he eventually becomes the chief executive officer.

The tagline at the end of the commercial says, 'German engineering. Made for India'.

On the thought behind the commercial, Bobby Pawar, chief creative officer, Mudra Group, says, "It is about giving people different cars at different stages of their lives. There is a Volkswagen for every stage.

"Today's kids are bold enough to ask for what they want. From that human insight came this commercial."

The current TVC focuses on the brand as a whole, showcasing the various Volkswagen cars with a clear intention to first build up the brand. Ads featuring individual cars will be worked on at a later date.

"It is a journey. It is important that we start the journey at the right time on the right note," Pawar adds.

Kothe says that one needs to adapt both product and communication to the sensitivities of a country. What works in an international market may not necessarily work in India, he observes.

"This is a heart-winning TVC. We chose the thought because to create stories with humour is not really the worst thing in India," he remarks.

The TVC will stay on air till February.

Volkswagen will launch an integrated 360 degree communication campaign using print, electronic, digital and out of home media. Mediacom handles the media duties for the company.

Reluctant to share the exact ad spends ear marked for the campaign, Kothe says that spends will be "highly competitive".

Volkswagen has aggressive plans for India, with the company planning to roll out what probably is one of its most successful models - the Beetle, fondly called The People's Car -in December. Also on the cards in the same month is the Volkswagen Touareg, a mid-size luxury sport utility vehicle.

Volkswagen Polo will be launched in the first half of 2010. Currently, the company offers the Passat and the Jetta, its family cars, in the Indian market.

"By the time Polo is launched, we would want to be ready and make sure there is enough brand awareness," says Kothe.

The company is building its dealership networks both in the urban and rural markets.

"While our target group is essentially premium and upper premium, we want to be warm and appealing and a part of the masses," Kothe says.

Volkswagen has opened a manufacturing facility in Pune, where Polo will be manufactured. It also has a 'completely knocked out' factory in Aurangabad, which is an assembly unit.

It is learnt that currently, the Beetle will be imported for sale in India.

© 2009 afaqs!