Volkswagen and iPhone take advertising to a new level.

October 28, 2009

Volkswagen and iPhone are my brothers two favorite things and now they have officially come together.  Volkswagen has decided to be the first and only car dealer to advertise solely on the iPhone.  No magazine articles, no commercials only iPhone owners are going to be able to enjoy the advertisement that Volkswagen has to offer for their 2010 GTI’s.  The PR value is huge because this is the first of its kind.  What are the other dealerships thinking?

Instead of a simple advertisement Volkswagen went above and beyond, they made a one of a kind racing game through Firement Real Racing.  ‘Real Racing GTI’ is available to download on apples app store for free.  It allows you to choose from six different 2010 GTI’s and race them on VW tracks.  There is one major advantage to being an iPhone user and being able to play/ view this advertisement from VW, you have the chance to win one of six limited edition 2010 GTI’s.  If you win one or choose to purchase one of these GTI’s you will be able to view your music library from your iPhone right on the dashboard!

The next six weeks will be filled with VW junkies, including my brother on their iPhones playing this game because there is no limit to how often you race, and the highest score from each week will be the winner of a new 2010 GTI!  They have even gone a step further by allowing the players to upload their actual races to YouTube and the racers will also be allowed to access Twitter right from the game.

Volkswagen has made this their single advertising move for this car leaving people like me who don’t own an iPhone left out and actually rather sad.  They may be saving money on advertising and this may be an incredible PR approach to selling a car but to me it seems like they are shrinking their audience.   I have a strong feeling though that a lot of VW fans will be investing in an iPhone.   I guess it pays to own an iPhone.

Posted by: Kate the intern

GM’s New Commercial: Hit or Miss?

June 8, 2009

It has been the talk of the nation: the Big Three (GM, Ford and Chrysler) are struggling. And in direct correlation to that, once prominent cities like Detroit are slowing shutting down. With GM’s recent bankruptcy filling and the subsequent plea on the Hill for funding and federal aid, the company has launched a new marketing program designed to uplift consumers and make them believe that they are fighting to bring American made cars back.

GM is putting an interesting spin on their hardships, and even though I personally believe these companies should cease all advertising and concentrate solely on turning their businesses around, I think this new campaign is a step in the right direction.

The new 60-second spot, launched last week tugs at every cliché Americans love to hear: “It’s not about going out of business; it’s about getting down to business”, and “leaner, greener, faster, smarter”. The ad spends several seconds reiterating the concerns that got them into this mess, but somehow spins it to sound positive “we’re not witnessing the end of the American car; we’re witnessing the rebirth of the American car. General Motors needs to start over to get stronger.”

In conjunction with this new commercial, GM has launched a new website and even a new blog, all giving the appearance that the company is trying to air everything out in front of their customers; a way to say, “Let’s do this together”.

It’s strong. It’s powerful. But will it work?

There has already been a lot of chatter around the internet about GM’s new campaign. From what I can tell, it’s about a 50/50 split of support and disproval. That is always going to happen, especially with a company as prominent as GM. But the true question is will it help the brand? I believe that if they can stick to their messaging, they have a shot. It is by far the most truthful ad from any of the Big Three since this whole mess started. But then again truth and advertising don’t always go hand-in-hand. As anyone who has worked in PR and Marketing knows that you don’t necessarily need a good product to market it well (think Crystal Pepsi).

I’m interested to hear what other PR and Marketing professionals have to say about this new campaign. Will it work?

Posted by: Lauren