Aiming to shock and awe: Volkswagen suspended a Vento from a building during its launch in New Delhi. Photo: Kamal Narang
For all its shock value, Volkswagen’s recent vibrating ad may not have people rushing out to buy its cars.
“Half my advertising is wasted, I just don't know which half.” - John Wanaker In my years in advertising, agencies have been most persecuted by this particular statement which has been usually made out of context by clients. Leading the volley would be accountants (those days there were no chief financial officers but only accountants who continued to attack our business with great relish title or no title). And yet, when I saw the recent Volkswagen “vibrator” ad I wondered whether the great man who spoke about advertising wastage got his numbers wrong and whether the figure should be closer to a total waste. If ever I saw advertising money go down the drain, I think it must have been on Tuesday September 11th 2012. For on that day, the company released a four page ad in one of India’s leading English dailies which had a vibrator in it as the ad spoke about how the new models of Vento and Polo would make you shiver with excitement. Some shiver! And if they thought that it would send shivers down the competition they surely have another guess coming. I am sure the competitors are laughing all the way to the bank!!