afaqs!

Volkswagen begins creative review process

By Ashwini Gangal , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Advertising | December 10, 2013
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The process is on in Mumbai.

European auto giant Volkswagen has initiated a creative review process. The process has begun and is underway in Mumbai. Industry sources close to the development have confirmed the news to afaqs!. In fact, according to our sources, three leading creative agencies are scheduled to make presentations very soon.

The development comes close on the heels of some recent senior level management changes at Volkswagen. Mahesh Kodumudi was brought in as president and managing director of Volkswagen India, this March. Gerasimos Dorizas, managing director, Volkswagen Group Sales India, was named chief representative, Volkswagen Group, in the country.

Volkswagen

It is pertinent to note that this year, the auto industry was down by 10 per cent and many car brands across the consumer spectrum struggled to maintain their respective volumes in this market. Volkswagen was no different. The company reportedly saw a 6 per cent decline in its sales.

In the face of this challenge, Volkswagen looks towards an aggressive second innings in the country and plans to launch some new products. According to reports, these include a brand in the compact SUV space (a current hot favourite among Indian consumers), as well as one in the 'small car' space (a small sedan-like car that will be under four meters), and possibly a few others. The current creative review process is said to be in sync with the company's comeback plan.

Most recently, DDB Mudra has worked on this account. The agency has created some memorable ads for the brand in the recent past. Last year, the brand used special light-sensitive, vibrating chips to add an audible and tactile buzz to its print advertisement. The innovation was carried out in multiple cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune, across 22.9 lakh newspaper copies. Newspaper brands included The Times of India, The Hindu and The Hindustan Times. The new features of the Polo and Vento were promoted through this effort. This campaign was reminiscent of Volkswagen's much talked about 'Talking newspaper' innovation done during the launch of the Vento in 2010.

Another memorable campaign launched last year was the brand's 'Post It' innovation. Sticky yellow notes stuck on the front page of the Hindustan Times in Delhi and Mumbai, and the Deccan Chronicle in Hyderabad invited readers to test drive its Polo and Vento range of passenger cars and participate in a contest. The print campaign was extended across digital and outdoor media (for example bus shelters) as well.

As reported earlier on afaqs!, Volkswagen's first brand campaign broke in India on November 11, 2009, and was accompanied by the market launches of the new Beetle and Touareg. Following this, the Polo was launched in March, while April saw the launch of the Phaeton. Around August 2010, the brand launched its second phase of communication and this time, the focus was on strengthening the corporate brand and its core values.

Since then, the brand has made its presence felt in the media through its aggressive advertising, including print roadblocks and newspapers with car-shaped holes. Now, given its current sluggish situation in India, it remains to be seen how the brand steps on the accelerator in 2014 and re-launches itself into the minds of the Indian consumer.

Volkswagen entered India in 2007. Brands offered by Volkswagen India include Polo, Vento, Jetta, Passat, Beetle, Touareg and Phaeton.

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