Volkswagen hit a speed bump this year when it voluntarily (with the help of a bit of media pressure) recalled more than 2,500 cars due to reliability issues. However, it's another type of recall which has got the German car manufacturer's motor running.
According to the latest Roy Morgan Research figures, VW has had the largest leap in ad recall amongst drivers intending to buy a car in the next four years.
In the year to April 2013, half of the potential new car owners surveyed said they saw or heard a VW ad – up from the 38 percent figure reported last year.
Holden maintains the lead with 63 percent, while Toyota (61 percent) and Ford (60 percent) are close on its rear.
The results were obtained from a sample size of 615 potential car buyers.
“It’s a good result at just the right time for VW, showing that regardless of any after-sales issues the company’s advertising is hitting the right note with prospective buyers,” says Roy Morgan Research New Zealand's Pip Elliott.
“Improvements across the board suggest car makers are doing their homework and researching their target markets before embarking on new ad campaigns.”
Last year, the VW appointed Denise Goodwin (formerly of Subaru and Turners Car Auctions) as its national marketing manager in an effort to take the brand from "Niche Street to Main Street". This involved a new brand strategy based around the idea that the company has a car for every kind of Kiwi.
VW and DDB launched the 'Beetling' campaign in February, which saw New Zealanders contort their bodies into the shape of a beetle in order to win a VW Beetle.