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Volkswagen: 'Marrying' marriage insights with branding

By Devina Joshi , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Marketing | November 30, 2010
Volkswagen is out with communication that positions the Beetle as an ideal 'gift' for the current wedding season in India.

Coinciding with the winter season in India is another unique season - the 'marriage' season. The months of November, December and January are fraught with marriages as several days are considered auspicious during this period. A brand that fits in well with this concept is Volkswagen Beetle, which has launched a campaign to coincide with the wedding season.

The campaign positions the Beetle as an ideal 'wedding gift'. 'Marriage does come with its rewards' is the positioning thought being utilised here, in a campaign involving press, outdoor, digital and cinema advertising.

Lutz Kothe, head, marketing and public relations, Volkswagen passenger cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India, explains, "The Beetle has been able to trigger emotions like no other for decades and it continues to do so across the globe. It is more than a mere car - it is a timeless gift that anyone would love to give to their loved ones - and what better occasion than marriage!"

The idea is to combine the 'timeless good looks' of the car with the timelessness of an occasion like marriage, when customers are about to begin a new phase in their lives. Rajeev Raja, national creative director, DDB Mudra (the agency on Volkswagen), says, "The Beetle is such a lovable, almost cuddly car that one gets the feeling of almost gift wrapping it and giving it to someone. That is where this whole idea emerged."

The press ads place the car in a wedding invite-like backdrop, with headlines such as 'Marriage does come with its rewards' and 'Bachelorhood deserves a fitting farewell', with the body copy explaining how the son/daughter/friend deserves a Beetle on a special occasion such as a wedding.

To give a brief background, Beetle owners around the world are believed to be rather 'emotional' about their cars; there are Beetle owners who have maintained their old Beetles like no other. Therefore, Volkswagen India officially launched the new Beetle with the tagline, 'Return of a legend'. One of the main reasons for the Beetle being loved is its unique shape, which is the car's style statement and therefore, the next piece of communication spoke precisely of that, saying 'Curves are back'.

The latest communication on the brand talks about it being a perfect wedding gift, as just like a wedding, the Beetle will be cherished for years to come. As the Beetle is a fairly expensive car, DDB Mudra played around with the words 'Fittingly Expensive', which became a tagline for this campaign.

Research by VW showed that the affluent Indian consumer is spending a lot of money buying expensive gifts, particularly for marriages and hence, the new Beetle could also make for a 'fittingly expensive' gift to give, too. The core target group for this campaign is adults aged 25 years and above, SEC A, as these people are believed to be modern, brand conscious, have an active social life and are trendsetters.

"These people anyway spend a lot on marriages and hence, the Beetle-wedding fit," explains Raja of DDB Mudra. 'Fittingly Expensive' is a thought that will continue till the end of January and may become a brand thought even beyond this tactical campaign.

A digital campaign is also being used and a commercial running in cinema halls shows a bride getting ready to leave her home, with the mother seeing her off, when her father's voiceover explains that nothing would suit their daughter as a wedding present but the Beetle. Then, she is seen driving away after the marriage in a Beetle, with her husband.

As of now, there are no plans to take this campaign to television.

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