So, my morning started today by updating my Facebook & Twitter pages about the new Volkswagen Vento audio ad and my day is actually ending up by writing a post on the same. The first experience was shocker or eerie enough as a consumer for me, resulting in immediate reaction on social media and the whole day analysis of the buzz on the ad is reflective enough to do a complete post 🙂
Needless to say the ad has managed to create enough hum-drum all across. Undoubtedly it was a media innovation and disruptive advertising at least for the Indian market. I don’t think I had ever come across anything like this earlier. In fact my reaction was exactly from a “WHAT” to “WOW” to “WTH”. When I suddenly heard my newspaper talking, for a second I was totally confused, rather shocked. I had to rummage through newspapers to realize what actually it was. And when I realized that it’s actually an ad presented in the form of an audio chip attached with TOI today, I was totally awed. Wow, what an idea! But then after some point when the voice went on repeating the same content in loop it became irritating. To add to that there was no option to switch it off; the only option left was to either fold the newspaper back or just throw that damn thing out. For those who missed (wait, did anyone actually miss to notice it) to see this ad, can check the video (by TejasNair) embedded at the bottom of the post.
Well, no doubt the ad was damn interesting and managed to grab the attention of almost everybody. Twenty two lakh chips were specially sourced for the one time exercise and the ad was targeted at the readers in 5 cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai & Pune. Total media spend estimated towards this 5 city campaign is close to INR 5 crores! Definitely a daring stand to spend this kind of money in just one day and that too only in 5 cities. But so what if it was only 5 cities, after all the consumers in these 5 cities have ensured to share their reaction with other consumers not only nationally but also globally.
Idea was great, so was the operational implementation but when it comes to execution of the idea, I do think that it was not properly thought through. Here is my feedback as far as the execution is concerned:
The content was really boring considering it was an audio ad. Come on, you can’t just have the written content run word by word in the form of an audio clipping. There was definitely scope for a better tone, better sound quality & better content.
Why O why there was no switch off button in that box? The loop presentation with repetitive content was the biggest reason for putting people off.
Don’t you think there was an opportunity to brand that box with Volkswagen Vento? When you have spent so much, maybe a little bit extra could have added more zing.
But this branding would have made sense if the device came with a switch on & off button and people would have liked to keep it. In its current state, many people decided to throw it off to shut it down! Bad call for action, no?
BTW was there any call for action in that clipping? Or Volkswagen Vento just wanted to create the stir amongst consumers by spending this amount of money? Whether this kind of spend is justified for such buzz is debatable. The ad definitely managed to be the talk of town everywhere, though it could have been executed better to serve other purposes of any campaign too. Overall good to observe this innovation coming from Indian market.
Aside: Wondering if this ad will give ideas to other money spenders to do something similar? OMG what will happen if say our politicians get inspired by all this and decide to take similar route? Will we have to hear their election speeches every morning along with our newspapers during political campaigns? Anyways they love to talk, don’t they??? Or say some Mr. Mahajan & Ms. Sawant decide to furthermore promote their swayamvars in their most happening voices through these talking newspapers? Eeeekkks!