Volkswagon is launching its newest model of the GTI, and they are spending 1/120th of the money they spent on advertising for its predecessor, the 2006 model, and they are expecting success. Sound too good to be true? It just might be, no one has ever tried what they are about to do.
Their plan: The automaker is launching a new iPhone app to announce its newest vehicle. Read the release.
The cost: $500,000 total in advertising. (They spent $6 million in 2006).
Their strategy: It’s a gamble. They think that the highly targeted app will reach the demographics of their audience, more effectively than a TV ad campaign—and for less money. AdAge agrees with their logic.
The problem: Even though there are 500 million iPhone users who be a seemingly great audience for this endeavor because of their interest in technology and more expensive products, there is no way they will all download the app. And why would anyone want to download advertising? Well, Volkswagon has created an interactive advertisement, or a racecar game that highlights the specific features of the car—and of course, it is free. Download RealRacing GTI today.
In a time of uncertain finances, this new advertising strategy could be revolutionary. Volkswagon is testing the waters, and it will be interesting to see if we have gone into a new age of advertising.
One thing can at least be said for trying something so outrageously new: Imagine much free advertising they are getting from pulling a stunt like this. Many critics believe if anything, it is a smart PR move.
Do you think that advertising could shift towards this new realm of possibilities? Would you download an advertisement?