Volkswagen is back with an all new ad, and this time it leads the race to tap into consumers’ emotions.
The Volkswagen Ameo TVC captures myriad emotions that we go through when we buy a car, in a storyline that depicts bittersweet bond between a father and a son. While the ad has the requisite quirk for the new generation, it also has the brand promise to please a more mature audience.
In conversation with Mr. Kamal Basu, Head of Marketing & PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, who takes us through the campaign and the changing world of automobile marketing.
The Volkswagen Ameo campaign depicts a father-son relationship, both belonging to different age categories. Who exactly was the target audience in your mind for the campaign?
The target audience for the Ameo ad was actually quite well defined. The storyline shows the son getting a car into the household. The car acts as an enabler for the father and son to bond, and I think the storyline was quite clear in establishing, our target audience was the 28-year old male. The father’s contentment and eventual fondness for the son’s transition from boyhood to manhood was well established.
How important is it these days to attach a social or emotional message to your brand message?
Having a social message is not critical, although it’s a nice-to-have factor. But having an emotional element is a stronger factor in communication. A car is not just a transaction; consumers buy into a long-term relationship with the brand. They keep coming back to the brand for their servicing and repair needs, and it becomes important to build a relationship with them. Having an emotional approach also strengthens your bond with prospective consumers.
How is internet changing the traditional auto dealership?
Digital marketing is critical to a brand. Virtually 100 per cent of consumers do their car research online – they study brands, read up car reviews, compare prices, and more. For consumers, buying a car is usually the second largest investment they make after buying a house. Hence, it is extremely thought-through and not an impulsive decision. This is why digital media becomes a key, and integral component of our media mix in reaching out to prospective and existing consumers.
Should marketers stick to one channel to deliver a brand message or use every channel possible to maximize results?
It depends on the task in hand. With Ameo, the motive was to create awareness about the car. Ameo is a mass-segment car and when I need to talk about it to a large audience, it is important to use television, because it is an economical way to reach out to a wider base. With print, people are looking for information on various components such as price and parts, so I would say print and digital medium are the key support mediums. Here television plays the lead role, supported by print and digital that aid in disseminating information.
What are the disruptive marketing trends you foresee in the automobile industry?
Everyone tries to be different in the way they communicate, but it is important to have a strong insight about your target audience so people can relate to your brand, especially in the automobile sector. Cars should fit seamlessly into their lives, rather than being forced upon. A strong insight is the strongest disruptor for marketers and will help you communicate your message effectively. You can capture key elements through humour, topical issues and many other things to deliver the message.