Branding giant Volkswagen have changed their story focus from canine to cute in their latest branding efforts, moving away from the infamous Bark Side commercials and Darth Vader themes towards happiness and human life stories.
The campaign launched with a new commercial called Smiles, showing people of all nationalities, young and old, to be laughing. Hard. Presumably to associate fun and positivity for the brand.
Kevin Mayer, VP of marketing for Volkswagen America said that “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. 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.”
Their strategy was to create the Why VW platform, which divides content into two areas of Values and Stories. The Values section contains product information and core values such as performance, design and quality presented by five real-life Volkswagen owners.
The Stories section features personal stories shared by brand loyal customers, which are also curated and posted to VW’s Facebook page. Participants will be rewarded with merchandise or event tickets.
“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 kick things off and source content Volkswagen approached the 50,000-strong Poptent community, a video crowdsourcing platform that connects brands and videographers. They picked 5 videos that best represented the Volkswagen brand, and told compelling and engaging 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.”
So far, some of the stories include Volkswagen partnering with the Dave Matthews Band, how to get custom graphics for your VW, Alex Flynn’s trans-America challenge to raise money for Parkinson’s research, and the story of Pedro Delgado’s 68 day drive from Argentina to Alaska in his 1981 Beetle.
Go to why.vw.com to see Volkswagen’s brand storytelling strategy for yourself.
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