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by Contagious I/O

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O, our customisable research platform featuring the world’s most innovative, creative and effective ad campaigns and marketing ideas

Smart media placements predict other brands' ads to demo car technology in South Africa

Volkswagen in South Africa has created an integrated campaign to demonstrates its Side Assist technology by predicting the content of other brands’ ads.

The car brand worked with Ogilvy & Mather, Cape Town, on a series of press, TV, radio and outdoor ads that described what ads people would see or hear next. On a highway, VW placed one billboard with the words ‘Volkswagen knows what’s coming’, followed by another saying ‘You’re about to see an ad for baked beanz.’ The next billboard then indeed advertised Heinz Baked Beanz.

The same formula was replicated across various forms of media, so the brand would for instance predict a radio ad featuring the sounds of the ocean in a storm, and lo and behold that would be the next ad that radio listener would hear.

The car brand worked with Ogilvy & Mather, Cape Town, on a series of press, TV, radio and outdoor ads that described what ads people would see or hear next. On a highway, VW placed one billboard with the words ‘Volkswagen knows what’s coming’, followed by another saying ‘You’re about to see an ad for baked beanz.’ The next billboard then indeed advertised Heinz Baked Beanz.

The same formula was replicated across various forms of media, so the brand would for instance predict a radio ad featuring the sounds of the ocean in a storm, and lo and behold that would be the next ad that radio listener would hear.

 

Contagious Insight / 

Making tech tangible / This campaign is a great product demo that expertly summarises the brilliance of VW’s Smart Assist technology in a visual and immediately accessible way. It’s particularly striking because it’s so different to how many high-tech services are advertised. There is no complicated jargon or safety simulations.

VW, in fact, has a legacy of demoing its Side Assist service in fun ways. Back in 2011 the brand created an office version of Side Assist that could predict when your boss was behind you so you wouldn’t get caught looking at lolcats online.

Hijacking ads / It’s impressive how VW has managed to use other brand’s advertising to get its own message across. This tactical media placement strategy reminds us of beer brand Newcastle Brown poking fun at Stella Artois’s chalice outdoor ad with its own billboard. Not every brand would be able to pull this off, but Volkswagen already has an accessible brand positioning that allows it to joke in this way. It is the people’s car, after all.

The surprise element here makes this campaign particularly memorable.

The ads themselves are plain and grey, but by abandoning advertising norms by making its spots and posters purposely bland, Volkswagen has managed to be heard among the advertising noise. And by repeating the same tactic across a variety of media, Volkswagen has really drummed its point home.

Volkswagen South Africa

 

This story originally appeared on Contagious I/O. Contagious I/O is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious I/O contact sales@contagious.com