Volkswagen of America today launched a new Why VW brand campaign and social media platform to capture and share the stories of Volkswagen owners and fans in a whole new way, as well as draw new consumers into the Volkswagen experience.
“Year after year, we receive countless stories from VW owners that sum up the unique passion people have for the brand, but we haven’t had a great way to curate or share them until now,” said Kevin Mayer, VP Marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “The Why VW campaign provides a new creative outlet for our owners and fans to share their individual Volkswagen stories with the world, and allows us to engage with them in a more meaningful way.”
whyvw.com officially kicked off today with the airing of a new commercial, “Smiles,” which drives viewers to the platform and showcases simple, human moments of people of all ages laughing to highlight the positivity of the brand. Smiles is strategically timed with a significant media buy on political programming in advance of November 5 to deliver a lighthearted break from the serious tone of the election cycle.
Why VW presents brand content, such as information about Volkswagen products and technologies, side-by-side with select stories submitted by consumers in an unprecedented way on one integrated platform. Content is divided in two sections: Values and Stories. The Values section contains information about Volkswagen products along with five short films featuring real Volkswagen owners. Volkswagen produced the two-minute films to educate visitors about the company’s core values, including quality, safety, value, environment and performance.
The Stories section, which is housed on vw.com and Volkswagen of America’s Facebook page, features user-generated content and select personal stories shared by consumers. Why VW leverages the latest Facebook technologies to make it easy for storytellers to share, publish and find stories. Volkswagen will review each content submission prior to posting and select the stories that best represent the brand and provide the most compelling content.
Periodically, Volkswagen will reward consumer participation and story sharing with special perks, such as event tickets or Volkswagen gear.
“What sets Why VW apart from other storytelling platforms is the integration of our own content with the real-world experiences of VW owners and fans,” said Mayer. “If someone wants to learn more about Volkswagen performance or a specific model, they will see relevant consumer stories side-by-side with information we provide.”
To get visitors inspired, Volkswagen collaborated with the Poptent creative community of 50,000 videographers to source five videos featuring Volkswagen owners and their personal stories.
“We’re excited to partner with Volkswagen to provide video content for whyvw.com,” said Poptent Chief Executive Andy Jedynak. “Volkswagen is the ideal company to use video crowdsourcing as a storytelling device because they have such an iconic brand with a passionate following of current and past owners who are eager to share their stories.”
“Smiles is a creative representation of the pure fun and positivity that have defined the Volkswagen brand and vehicles for decades,” said Mayer. “We’ve had a tremendous year in 2012 and the campaign is a celebration of the unique customer experience that we believe continues to draw consumers in to the brand.”
The 30-second Smiles commercial features people of all ages and nationalities who embody the Volkswagen spirit of positivity through laughter. The people featured in the spot were selected at random by a series of directors.
To provide an upbeat message in the thick of election season, Volkswagen is airing the commercial in water cooler media environments that spark conversation, including presidential debates; the lighter side of election programming such as Comedy Central’s Indecision; and the season premieres of a variety of network sitcoms.