Magazine article Marketing

2002 Ipa Effectiveness Awards: Silver Award - Best Consistency - Bmp Ddb for Vw 1995-2001

Magazine article Marketing

2002 Ipa Effectiveness Awards: Silver Award - Best Consistency - Bmp Ddb for Vw 1995-2001

Article excerpt

In 1994 Volkswagen was a niche player in the UK car market, but by the end of 2001 it had doubled its sales to become a mass-market brand. It achieved this growth without eroding the brand's aspirational reputation.

The company set out to take a 7% share in five years, but it had to overcome a number of barriers if it was to boost sales. Many of its models were unknown, many people believed that VWs were expensive, and the brand simply wasn't being considered by mass-market buyers.

Marketing budgets were increased and the way that people bought cars was researched. This revealed that car-buying behaviour could be divided into two discrete periods, active and passive. During the latter, which occurs between car purchases, mass media advertising is the most influential channel. At the active stage, the period when a limited number of models are investigated in depth, more targeted advertising options come into play.

Media selected for the passive phase included TV, cinema, press, poster and radio advertising. Active phase work aimed to provide relevant information to a target audience using local print and radio,as well as via direct marketing, PR activity and the internet.

Within this strategy, the creative not only had to promote the benefits of individual models, but also had to highlight some general truths about the brand. Volkswagen advertising had long been known for its intelligent, understated wit and the strategy retained this feature as well as aiming for a consistency of tone across all forms of marketing. …

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