Tag Archives: Volkswagen

The Human Connection

One of the keys to successful communication is establishing a personal connection with your audience. When you have it, you will never lose their attention or miss out on the opportunity to establish a relationship.

At the start of any new campaign, we ask ourselves how we can connect with our audience on an emotional level that will be engaging enough to get them to actively consider the products/services we are advertising.

There are many ways to establish this connection.  One of the ways commonly used in consumer products campaigns is to use childhood experiences to evoke a “warm and fuzzy” feeling about your youth. Volkswagen has recently launched a TV campaign focusing on the favorite childhood road trip game “Slug Bug.” Unlike other car commercials, Volkswagen didn’t mention fuel efficiency, horsepower, commitment to safety, or other pressing issues other automotive brands have “responded” to this year. They simply used a well-known game to positively promote the many different Volkswagen models that are available for purchase.

The Food & Beverage category is another good example.  When was the last time you dunked your Oreo cookie into a glass full of milk? Can you remember your inspiration or how you even came up with such a phenomenal idea to mix milk and cookies? Nabisco has been using the “milk and cookie” message as part of their communication for years. Which came first, the ad or the idea?  And Kellogg won’t hesitate to recall how you used to listen to your favorite cereal before you ate it.

And while B2B campaigns mostly focus on rational and logical business reasons to select their product over their competition, some B2B campaigns are beginning to connect with audiences through emotional reasoning as well. AirTran Airways now offers Wi-Fi on all AirTran flights. To promote this feature as a benefit to passengers flying for business reasons, AirTran’s new TV campaign utilizes the excitement that employees feel when they are told of available birthday cake in the conference room.

Each of these brands used visual stimuli paired with familiar experiences to establish an emotional connection. Using this format to connect to their audience may influence a positive perception about their products and their brand overall. Still need more? Ask any father who shares his favorite game with his children and see if they don’t look back on that experience fondly.

No matter which industry you may categorize yourself in, or to whom you are attempting to sell, there are emotional triggers that you can tap to make your marketing more powerful.  Work to find this connection and incorporate it into your campaign strategy, and see what that does, not only to your unaided awareness, but to the success metrics of your campaign.

— Jonathan Ginburg, Sr. Account Executive


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Representing your brand; do your research

One of the more popular urban legends is how the Chevrolet  Nova sold poorly in Spanish-speaking countries because “no va,” in Spanish, literally translates to “it does not go.” Despite whether or not this story is true, or really just a legend, the moral behind the story is still as relevant as ever. Poor representation of your brand will greatly affect your sales.

I was not as disappointed with the commercials during the 2010 Super Bowl as in previous years. I commented on the smart ones, chuckled at the funny ones, and made fun of the ones that just fell flat. However, one that I believe has poorly represented its brand was Audi.

When I watched the “green” Audi commercial the first time, I thought it to be a smart approach — tackling the eco-friendly automobile industry. However, it wasn’t until the following Monday where I was reminded that the “green police” was another name for Hitler’s Police during World War II. The Green police were at the heart of numerous deportations, ghetto-clearing operations, and massacres.

So I watched it again. And perhaps I am being too sensitive, but I found it incredibly distasteful. The way the police showed up at the store arresting the consumer on the counter for choosing a plastic bag, or taking someone out of their home for using the wrong kind of light bulbs – all while having a re-recorded version of Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police” as “Green Police” playing in the background. Was it not hypocritical to be wasting water by pouring it out of bottles simply because they were plastic? It just reminded me of the cruelty of the Nazis simply because they were in positions of power.

To make it even worse, Audi is a German company, owned by Volkswagen. I realize that the point wasn’t to make light of the Holocaust or even to try and emulate Hitler’s Police of the 1940s, but there is a much better way to portray your new eco-friendly, “green” automobile. How Audi approved such a concept is beyond me, but their ad agency should have done their research and been more sensitive.

All brands should be perceptive as to how to represent their brand. And German brands like Audi and Volkswagen, should know better than to associate with the “Green Police”  65 years after World War II. This misrepresentation is as bad as telling Spanish-speaking people that your vehicle simply “no va.”

— Jonathan Ginburg, Account Executive

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