afaqs!

Volkswagen wows crowds with a unique test-drive

By Surina Sayal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | June 03, 2010
The brand conducted a unique consumer engagement event with professional German race driver, Ronny Wechselberger

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While the TVCs for the New Polo from Volkswagen convey the superior features of the vehicle and suggest that the car needs no test-driving, an on-ground activity to promote the car did just that -- but it stayed clear of the regular test drives and burnt some rubber instead.

The brand, with the help of brand solutions division, Group M's Dialect, conducted a unique consumer engagement event, 'The New Polo Ultimate Test Drive'. Professional German race driver, Ronny Wechselberger was invited to perform custom-made stunts at an on-ground event to showcase the features of the New Polo.

Consumers were invited to watch breathtaking stunts, and even become co-passengers while the stunts were performed. Wechselberger also interacted with them and provided tips and tricks on driving and parking in crowded metros.

The test drive was conducted on May 27 at Mumbai's Inorbit Mall's huge parking lot. The objective of the event was to showcase the features of the car, especially those which are being depicted through ATL, such as superior handling, ground clearance and safety.

Stunts performed by Wechselberger included slalom obstacle with 90-degree turns, 180-degree turn forward and reverse, precision parking and 360-degrees reverse. All this was done using the original New Polo, without the vehicle being put through any overhauling or rigging.

Soumik Sarkar, business director, Dialect, GroupM tells afaqs!, "The brief given to us was that the company was bringing the German driver to India and to their manufacturing facility in Chakan; and they wanted to utilize him for leveraging sales." He adds, "Rather than inviting everybody for such an event, we decided to invite people who had test driven the vehicle, but hadn't made up their mind yet."

The event was attended by three types of audience - people who had test driven the car through dealers were invited to the event; the mall crowd who had free walk-ins; and dealers and their families as well, to create a feeling of excitement amongst them. Besides announcements in the mall itself, 10 promoters walked around giving out leaflets and information on the event, inviting interested mall goers to attend it.

The event and the stunts were conducted four times during the day -- at 11 AM for the media; and then at 3 PM, 6 PM and 8 PM. Sarkar informs that about 500 invites were sent to dealers, of which about 340 attended the event. Another 800 people walked in to the event. At least 45 solid leads have been established through the first event in Mumbai itself. This event will now be held in Bengaluru on June 05 and in Delhi on June 20.