How Volkswagen is building a robust emotional equity in the automobile market

Volkswagen’s engagement with the Indian market extends beyond its product line-up, encompassing a series of impactful marketing campaigns and initiatives that have captured the attention of consumers through various channels, including the “Talking Newspaper”. This interactive advertisement not only grabbed attention, but also effectively conveyed the brand’s message in a unique way, demonstrating Volkswagen’s commitment to pushing creative boundaries.

Speaking about the brand’s marketing strategy used during its inception year in India, Ashish Gupta, Brand Director, Volkswagen Passenger Cars India, told Adgully, “When we came into India, the awareness of customers about Volkswagen as a brand was low. We needed to do something which made an impact that stood out from how advertising was done at that time, that is why creating those disruptions through impact was very important. The objective at that time was to increase awareness about the brand and that's something which we achieved.”

Adding further, Gupta noted, “Once you’ve achieved a level of awareness, then the next part is how do you sustain this awareness and how do you drive consideration for your brand, so that’s been the objective since we came into India. Keeping awareness high and driving consideration through product-oriented communication and the awareness through brand communication.”

The automobile brand has rolled out its new brand communication, ‘You’re in a Volkswagen’, which captures the true emotion of owning a car – ‘For those who are in love with driving, in love with motion’. A Volkswagen isn’t just a car, it’s a people’s car. The new brand communication captures a 360-degree perspective, emphasising what it means to drive a Volkswagen. A brand promise that prioritises a holistic customer experience, right from the offerings to must-have essential product features that service initiatives, making the brand transparent and valuable.

When asked about the campaign and how challenging it was, Gupta shared that it has been quite challenging and added that they had incredible numbers of debates on whether they should do it. “Since we are a European brand, we are seen as a premium brand and there are factors like whether it affects our brand positioning or if it affects our brand identity,” he said.

He further added, “The growth in India is coming from not only the big cities, but also the Tier 2 and Tier 3 towns, and if you have to grow as a brand in India, you have to be relevant in these new demand centres. The aspiration was always there in these cities, but now they also have the means, they have the money, they have the resources to be able to meet those aspirations. They may not always identify with fancy things; it has to be more in communication that you do with them and has to appeal to them.”

Conceptualised by the DDB Mudra Group, with media planning by PHD, the new consumer-friendly campaign takes a brand-first approach to build a robust emotional equity in the automobile market. The hallmark of this campaign lies in its availability in eight local languages, which stands as a testament to the brand’s commitment to fostering stronger connections with its customers. This multilingual endeavour ensures that the brand message is not just understood, but also felt on a personal and emotional level, making the campaign a truly immersive experience.

Meanwhile, sharing about his expectations from the second half of this year, Ashish Gupta said, “H2 this year already seems to be much better than H1 of this year. But when you will start putting the percentages against last year H2, it may not show much growth because last year, H2 was also very high for the industry.”

Gupta further said, “If I talk about growth, compared to last year till July, the industry has grown by almost 12%. When we started off in January 2023, the expectation was that this year the industry will grow for the full year by around 6%. If you look at it, the first half itself has already grown by 12%, even if the industry stays flat for the next six months, then also six to eight percentage of growth is expected.”


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