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Land of the Giants

headlinecnen
Polo. Small but tough
basics
Industry: Automotive & Services
Media:TV & Cinema
Published:2003
Market:United Kingdom
Language:English
Style: Minimalism
descriptioncnen
Description / Synopsis


SUMMARY
Communication responded to moderate market success by re-positioning the small car Polo. Contrary to the norm in the category, advertising did not position Polo as part of a modern and youthful lifestyle but communicated its superior product qualities in a fun and entertaining way. Polo’s image clearly reflected the campaign’s messages and the success was outstanding. Despite its rational message the campaign was highly liked, and market share increased, even reaching historical peaks.

Context


CAMPAIGN OBJECTIVES
- Re-position the Polo from the psychological position of “Inspires self belief” to a more product focused territory.
- Still reach the likeability levels at or above segment average in an emotional driven advertising environment.

TARGET AUDIENCE
Men and women between 25 and 35 years, singles or married / living together with a maximum of two children. The target audience is people who want all the quality and safety of a big car in a small package. For them, choosing a small car is not an expression of being less demanding, it is a conscious choice for a smaller size car.

CAMPAIGN PERIOD
August to December 2003.

Philosophy/Solution


CREATIVE STRATEGY
Current small car advertising focuses on emotions or attitudes, positioning the car as an enabler for having carefree fun. They therefore appear generic and interchangeable.

VW decided to reject the category convention by returning to its heritage of product centred advertising with a twinkle in the eye. In accordance with the target audience’s needs the positioning “Built without compromise” was developed. This is true to the product and credible for the Volkswagen brand. Given this, the well known relative higher price of Polo didn’t become a barrier but a reason to believe in Polo’s superior quality.

Polo’s positioning was translated into “small but tough” (UK) and “extremely well built” (D). The campaign showed in a slightly exaggerated way that no other car gives you such a feeling of solidity and safety. The creative springboard was the tension between “superior quality and solidity” and a “small car”. This allowed for a youthful and entertaining dramatisation of a rational message; differentiation from interchangeable segment advertising; expression of superiority in segment without being arrogant; and even drawing level with cars of higher segment.

MEDIA
- Broadcast
- Print

TOTAL MARKETING EXPENDITURE
€10 million to €20 million.

MEDIA STRATEGY
The media strategy works by reinforcing the feeling of security and certainty. The core of the strategy was the usage of print titles that the target audience read regularly. On TV, this meant advertising around programmes watched on a regular basis by the target audience. Occasional boosts with cinema and posters were used to reach out to the younger part of the target audience.

Results


GERMANY
- Polo achieved recognition and likeability levels that are far above segment and category average in TV and Print.
(Source: VW AG EAR 2003)
- The Polo image sets benchmarks in the segment, with Polo ranking number one in the dimensions of “quality” and “safety”.
(Source: VW AG Awareness and Image Check 2003)
- Polo increased sales explicitly after the campaign launch, improving registrations (+16.6%) as well as market share (+0.87). It increased its monthly average of sold units by 7, 5% and reached historical peaks of market share in November (23,2%) and December (24,1%).
(Source: Kraftfahrzeug Bundesamt, VW AG)

UK
- The Polo follow-up TV campaign clearly exceeded launch communication regarding the likeability of the campaign. Through the print campaign, Polo is clearly identified and the campaign is liked explicitly above the segment average.
(Source: VW AG EAR 2003)
- The campaign was successful in communicating Polo’s strengths “Reliability” and “Safety”.
(Source: VW AG Awareness and Image Check 2003)
credit
Brand:
Agency:
Creative Director:
Account Manager:
Director:
Post Production:
Other credit:Account Planner Hannah Wren Advertising Manager Martina Berg, Achim Glokowski
Worldwide Account Manager Martyn Farmer
International Account Manager Jason Lusty
Planner International José Luis Ramirez
Head of Advertising International Martina Berg
Coordination Advertising International Achim Glokowski
awards
ADDY® Awards 2004
National Silver Award
Consumer Products, Automotive Regional/National TV, Single Spots
Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2004
Shortlist
Cars
EACA Euro Effies 2004
Gold
Automotive
British Arrows 2004
Bronze
Cars
British Television Advertising Craft Awards 2004
Finalist
Original Music
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