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

PR Nightmares (?): The Curious Case of Sean Salisbury

September 25, 2009

Is Sean Salisbury crazy, or crazy like a fox?

The answer could lie in a question many of you might be asking right now: “Who the heck is Sean Salisbury?”

Salisbury was a middling pro quarterback who logged 10 largely forgotten years in the NFL and CFL from 1987 to 1996. Subsequently, he became a middling in-studio football analyst for ESPN, building a largely forgotten broadcasting career at the network that came to an abrupt halt in 2008. Although Salisbury claimed the decision to leave was his because he felt he wasn’t being paid his due, rumors flew that one of the reasons that led to his departure was a suspension for showing a cell-phone picture of his most private of areas to several women. Salisbury denies, and continues to deny, that allegation, but the blogosphere, which has followed this story as if it were the Watergate tapes, is not inclined to believe him.

Salisbury bounced around after leaving his ESPN, turning up on a Dallas radio station, where he was recently fired for what some suspect was more alleged shady behavior. Salisbury again claimed innocence.

Sean_Salisbury_200x200Now Salisbury is on the legal attack. But although he claims to have hired a high-powered lawyer and a high-powered PR firm to help him take down his enemies and restore his tattered reputation (while he claims to be writing a book that will reveal secrets that will take several ESPN personalities down, which would seem to open him up to charges of contradiction), you have to wonder about what is really going on.

The question is, what high-powered lawyer or PR firm would ever allow a client to send a flood of barely literate, threatening and ultimately incredibly loopy iPhone messages to prominent sports blog Deadspin, which has breathlessly and snarkily reported Salisbury’s strange career arc for years now?

Here’s the thing: Salisbury knew Deadspin would post his messages. In fact, as you can see in his correspondence, he practically goads them to do so. So is this an incredibly disturbed individual, or is this really a viral marketing campaign for Sean Salisbury 2.0, the fantastically unhinged sports broadcasting personality? Is Sean Salisbury on a campaign to become the Glenn Beck of sports?

Is this a PR nightmare or PR genius? Only time (and presumably much more poor grammar, spelling and sentence structure) will tell.

We’ll have a good idea if he’s ever pitching iPhones.

Posted by Joe Paone