There’s nothing like a global scandal to shake a company to its very foundations. Volkswagen New Zealand’s general manager Tom Ruddenklau shares what the New Zealand arm of the car dealer has learnt from operating in a crisis, and how it got to be in a position where it is now stronger and better performing than ever.
A couple of years ago, Volkswagen was a brand struggling to combat the perception among mainstream New Zealanders that it was too stuffy, too expensive and too European. So it did some research, hired new staff, launched some new products, created more localised comms with DDB and did some serious discounting as part of its 'a car for every Kiwi' approach. These efforts led to big increases in sales and the top gong at the 2012 TVNZ-NZ Marketing Awards. But since then, it's been fairly quiet. Now, with its new agency Colenso BBDO in tow, it's celebrating its 60th anniversary in this market with a crowd-sourced ad called The People's Film. PLUS: a few other classy crowd-sourced campaigns from around the world.
One of the world's most enduring and successful agency-client partnerships has come to an end in this part of the globe, with Volkswagen saying goodbye to DDB after 11 years and, in another slightly surprising decision to follow up from last month's 2degrees pitch, choosing Colenso BBDO as its agency.
Skinny welcomes a new Paul, Jo Hartley trades OMD for Carat, Studio Alexander appoints a general manager, Acumen Republic ups its events firepower, Volkswagen goes human hunting, and iStart and Software Shortlist get together to embrace the pay-per-lead model.
Not too long ago, Volkswagen was seen by Kiwis as a brand that was too expensive, too Germanic and too standoffish. So the European car maker set about changing that and, with the help of DDB NZ, it's been making some serious inroads into the Kiwi market, with the 2011 results achieving records for both its passenger and commercial vehicles. Now the pair are hoping to continue the upward trajectory with a new series of ‘the same, but different’ TVCs running in the pre-weather spot on ONE News.