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.
With a tagline that translates to "Fun. Don't leave it too late," the new Beetle print campaign depicts Chinese Millennials on the go, although not at a go-go pace but a leisurely, "slow down and enjoy life" vibe with a 2013 Beetle suggesting a design-savvy, boho lifestyle.
The sunglasses, trendy haircuts, primary-colored clothes worn by the models in the campaign suggest the creative class that can be spotted in any global city (and agency) these days, including those in China — so it's OK, you can call them hipsters. The Beetle has never been about speed, but about having fun and enjoying the ride — a message that should resonate in China, where the Beetle has been pitched in the past with an old vs. new theme — an idea that wouldn't resonate with these kids. They just want new.
As DDB China, VW's agency behind the Beetle campaign puts it, the target is "men and women looking for a vehicle that's iconic, innovative and fun to drive." And no matter the big picture of China's auto market, there are plenty of plugged in, upwardly plugged in young consumers who are looking for that.