Posted by Dale Buss on February 13, 2013 09:56 AM
Now that the Super Bowl ad has come and gone and lives on digitally and in the ashes of controversy over the spot, in real time Volkswagen is trying to move on. Its new commercial, "Mask," aims to do just that. A quietly funny spot by Deutsch LA, it's directed by Noam Murro, who directed the Super Bowl spot for Taco Bell.
And speaking of the Super Bowl, others associated with VW's "Get In. Get Happy" Game Day ad —the story of a tall white guy with a Jamaican accent—are still trying to milk the Super Bowl appearance for all it's worth.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on November 8, 2012 05:32 PM
Last weekend, the latest leg of MINI's "The Chinese Job" contest was broadcast live on China's video sharing site Youku. The winner of the ongoing driving contest wins the use of a special-edition MINI for a year.
The third annual "Chinese Job" — a spoof of The Italian Job, the film that made the Mini famous, of course — comes as more and more of the distinctive cars are seen on China's roads. BMW, Mini's parent, hopes that the trend will continue, opening China's first ever Mini dealership in Beijing just weeks ago.
But with VW's Beetle going hard for the same China millennials market, and its own BMW parent pushing its 1 Series, will MINI be able to find a market beyond a small niche of quirk?Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 25, 2012 05:51 PM
With major automotive markets in China cooling and in Europe crumbling, it's going to be tougher for the world's leading car makers to change places. But during the third quarter, Volkswagen still moved closer to its goal of nabbing the worldwide sales-leadership mantle because it outperformed the current title holder, General Motors, in China.
After trailing GM in China for eight years, Volkswagen edged ahead in third-quarter sales, with the automaker's deliveries jumping by 21 percent during the period -- almost triple GM's growth, according to Automotive News Europe. China is already the biggest market for both companies.
Both companies apparently gained from the fact that Chinese buyers have turned away from Japanese brands because of geopolitical tensions between China and Japan. But Volkswagen also benefited from one major advantage over GM.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 17, 2012 04:35 PM
Growth in auto sales may be slowing in China from the breakneck pace of a year or two ago, but it's still the most important long-term car market in the world. That's a main reason Chinese consumers are now seeing a new TV and print campaign for the updated Beetle.
China is Volkswagen's largest sales region — recently passing the US to become its top region for its luxury Porsche and Bentley brands — and has been a driver for the automaker's global sales volume and profit. Volkswagen sold 2.3 million vehicles in China alone in 2011, up 17 percent from 2010, according to the Wall Street Journal. The company even reshuffled top management last summer in part to make sure it wasn't losing any traction in China.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on September 26, 2012 12:09 PM
Design dictates so much — perhaps the biggest share — of purchase descision-making by car-buyers. So the automotive-design world is a highly competitive crucible and that rare arena inside the industry where individual creative genius often is allowed to shine. Marketing is the other such place.
So Walter de Silva, global design chief for Volkswagen, caused a bit of a sensation when he criticized many other automakers' current design languages, and actually an entire reigning school of automotive design, as outdated and on the decline.
And what, does he believe, is ascendant in automotive design? Well, said de Silva at a VW product launch in Tokyo, that would be, of course, his brand's approach to design.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on August 15, 2012 02:03 PM
The 25th anniversary of Shark Week has sparked an early feeding frenzy on social TV check-in app GetGlue, while Discovery Channel has created a host of digital tie-ins (games!) to keep viewers chomping at the bit. Sharp sponsors such as VW are also getting in on the fun, creating a shark cage to promote the 2013 Beetle. Watch its one-minute stunt above, follow along on Twitter, and tune in starting Sunday night.
Posted by Dale Buss on April 18, 2012 12:57 PM
Ford is pursuing the Millennial generation these days like the rest of the global auto industry. But so far the carmakers' love largely has gone unrequited by a car-reluctant cohort.
Now, Ford hopes that a new Mustang can keep wooing Generation Y the way that its new Ford Fiesta did when it debuted a couple of years ago. Ford design chief J Mays has been telling folks for a while that the 2014 Mustang will comprise perhaps the nameplate's sharpest departure ever from the "pony car" that first excited the baby boomers a half-century ago under the guidance of then-Ford executive Lee Iacocca.
The company will have to be cautious. In the 1970s, after mistakenly believing that the appeal of the original, muscular, blockish Mustang design had run its course with the car market, Ford introduced a vastly diluted design and called it Mustang II.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on March 22, 2012 11:19 AM
Volkswagen has come a long way toward men with the Beetle from the days of installing a vase holder near the steering column. But has it gone too far?
The brand wanted to make the new, new Beetle, introduced late last year, more appealing to men (while not losing women). Only 29 percent of purchasers of the old New Beetle, a year ago, were men, and the flower-vase holder as well as the fully rounded styling and VW's own positioning of the model had a lot to do with that.
Fast-forward to today. VW signaled early its intention to tap more into the male market with the new, new Beetle that came out last fall. It has a more raked, not so round profile, for one thing. It had a broader, more aggressive — OK, more "masculine" — stance. It's no accident that the dog featured in the brand's 2012 Super Bowl commercial for the new Beetle was a big golden retriever.Continue reading...