The Polo – a no compromises approach to advertising. Owens DDB Sponsored by
Company profile Owens DDB is a communications agency offering expertise across all media channels. Part of the DDB network, we are encouraged to generate creative solutions to business problems. We are proud to have retained the majority of our clients for a long period of time priding ourselves on the service we provide and the quality & effectiveness of work we generate. And we’re very friendly. introduCtion & BaCkground In years to come papers such as these, pertaining to Ireland in 2009, will attempt to paint a picture of the economic challenges this nation faced. The downturn impacted all elements of the economy but arguably none so dramatically as within the automotive market. Total sales year on year were down 62.6% - that’s a change of sales from 148,669 a year to just 55,578. Then consider that the car market is incredibly seasonal with 60% of total sales usually coming in the first 3 months of the calendar year, the idea of launching a new car in this environment appears to be nothing more than folly.
However, with the new Volkswagen Polo due to reach Ireland’s shores in October of 2009 there was no question of a delay. The Polo is part of the Holy Trinity of Volkswagen’s lead models – the other two being the Golf and the Passat. With the Polo, Volkswagen Group Ireland faced an intriguing challenge. Whilst it was a profitable model it was not meeting the volumes it should, was increasingly appealing to an older audience and alienating potential buyers in this most competitive segment (referred to as A0). Furthermore, stiff competition in this segment came from Volkswagen’s two major rivals in Ireland; Toyota with the Yaris and Ford who had recently released the new Fiesta. Finally, there was change internally within the Volkswagen group with new management and structures being put in place following the acquisition of the previous distributor MDL by the Volkswagen Group. So as you can now glean, it was all incredibly straightforward. marketing oBjeCtives Planning for the communications launch of the Volkswagen Polo commenced on the 9th June 2009. Adam Chamberlain, the recently appointed Marketing & Sales director, made it clear that he desired an integrated approach between the Agencies & Volkswagen. Information was to be shared, targets to be agreed and the work to be carried out in a team environment rather than master & servant. Challenge was encouraged because the launch had been identified as an event with both short & long term implications for the brand. Adam presented his view on overall objectives as he saw them: The targets set were ambitious but then we started to learn about the car. The level of detail that had gone into all aspects of the new Polo was phenomenal. Volkswagen had made a conscious decision to emulate all the strong characteristics of the Golf but this time in the smaller Polo. This being the 5th generation of Polo it was apparent that the bar was being set high across all areas: safety, technology, styling, performance and handling. This ethos is quite in keeping with the brand mission statement of Volkswagen encapsulated by one sentence: volkswagen – the world’s most innovative high volume brand. With a marketing objective of setting the Polo as the benchmark leading to a XX
business objective of increasing segment share from 8.1% to 11.1% we felt that our communications objective should be formulated concisely and with careful consideration of the product itself. With this in mind we proposed the use of a planning tool devised by the DDB network. ‘Model Foundations’ was launched in March of 2009 and was a progression of the ‘Brand Foundations’ planning tool. It is a tool that allows Clients & Agencies to come together for a planning day session whereupon we can analyse all elements of the new product being launched and pin point the platform that will...
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