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VW 'with shiver effect' print campaign create ripples with readers!

Sipping a cup of coffee on the 11th September 2012 morning and skimming and scanning through the newspaper, readers of Times of India, Hindustan Times and The Hindu, experienced a buzzing sensation on their fingers while the front page read “Feel the shiver of excitement?' It was the German automotive brand Volkswagen’s new campaign for the Polo and Vento. The buzzing effect was generated through a light – sensitive chip that was attached to the last page of the papers. It was built with an intent to communicate the shiver that the readers will experience on reading about the new features of the Polo and Vento. Innovative press advertising is not new to Volkswagen. From the ‘Talking Newspaper’ campaign in 2010 to the ‘Silver Newspaper’ in 2011, Volkswagen is credited with some of the most innovative marketing initiatives in India. And that legacy continues with its latest front-page innovation.
 
 
Speaking about the innovation, Debraj Tripathy, COO, MediaCom, the media agency handling the campaign said, “The innovation and the campaign have been made to get the readers know about the enhanced basic features of the Polo and the Vento. Being able to attract the readers to the proposition was a central focus. Also whenever an innovation is done, it has double aim; one to reinforce the existing proposition and position and second to attract newer eyeballs”. He said that the innovative campaign reached out to six major cites of India; with Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore and Pune through Times of India, Delhi through Hindustan Times and Chennai through Hindu; making a total of 22.9 lakhs vibrating chips being attached to the papers.
 
Rajiv Sabnis, President, DDB Mudra Group, the creative agency on board, a prepared statement given to the media said, “Volkswagen operates its business globally on three fundamental value pillars- Innovative, Responsible and Valuable. The "shivering" newspaper idea and the content in the four page pull-out advertisement demonstrates all three value pillars of Volkswagen- it is led by the innovative idea of a shivering newspaper, supported by the responsibility with which Volkswagen manufactures their cars and the value that the Vento and Polo offer with their exciting new features. Volkswagen and DDB Mudra have raised the bar again in creating innovative communication and demonstrated social creativity that is getting talked about on social networks.”
 
Speaking on this innovation, Lutz Kothe, Head of Marketing & PR, Volkswagen Passenger Cars, Volkswagen Group Sales India, said, “Like our carlines, innovation has always been the core of our communication. Through this innovation we have not only communicated the unique processes that go into making a Volkswagen but also the new features added to Polo and Vento. I am confident that like our other campaigns, this initiative will excite our customers to walk into our showrooms for a test drive.”
  
Louella Rebello, Executive Creative Director, DDB Mudra said, “The vibrating newspaper besides conveying the excitement of the Polo and Vento, highlights how Volkswagen cars are fundamentally superior. As Indians, we like to tick the boxes on peripherals while buying a car. What we are saying is sure, tick boxes. But tick the right ones. Make sure the fundamentals are rock solid first.”
 
Arunava Das Sharma, Executive President, TOI, speaking about the innovative campaigns that Times of India and Volkswagen have been doing for a while said, “Team TOI has always been innovative. With Volkswagen the advantage is two way. One is the impact that such campaigns can have is large because of TOI’s reach and secondly, such campaigns support and enhance the brand and brand value it holds.”  Sharma opines that the credit received for such campaigns to a large extent restricts only the final sellers of the idea. The efforts put in the editorial, production, circulation and R and D sections have been neglected. “But these are the sections that help us in dealing with the logistical challenges that such innovations bring with them.” Sharing his thoughts on whether the print medium is still strong to execute and have edgy impact in advertising, Sharma said, “I firmly believe that though the nature of the medium is robust, but because of its ability to localise and reach out to more local and hyper local markets, print still has an advantage. Secondly, the ability of print to customise solutions is higher than any other medium. Take for instance, the aroma paper we did with Bru Gold; a television commercial would not give the aroma that a newspaper did and that the edge print as a medium have.”
 
We at Adgully spoke to a few readers and industry  stalwarts and  realised that the campaign has definitely managed to create the ‘buzz’ it had set out to do. Also, given the fact that the markets are getting cluttered minute by minute, it’s a necessity of sorts to keep innovating and re-inventing. But whatever the rationale behind  the big ticket or small innovations , some may work some may not.In a tight economy we need more Clients like Volkswagon to take the risk and more agencies to partner the clients in bringing Innovations. It’s for each one to take it with a pinch of salt and decide as to whether a thumps up or a thumps down! | By Ankita Tanna [ankita(at)adgully.com]
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