VW Golf GTI: Take A Sunday Drive And Then Some

August 30, 2010

Apart from sitting in the dentist’s chair getting a cavity filled, while my fingers grip the chair with such intensity usually reserved for gripping the monitor of my Windows-based PC as it crashes for the umpteenth time while trying to do my work, or perhaps barking at my children without cease for a good half hour for them to go to bed, few activities in life can really focus me and keep my attention for more than 20 or 30 heartbeats nowadays.

But what lies at the heart of this shortened attention span? Blame the Internet? Or perhaps it’s that we live too close to the high tension power lines? Or the lead-based pots my mom used to cook my dinners with? Or just a defective, recessive gene? Maybe all of the above, maybe none of the above. But that ability to focus for lengthy periods of time has certainly diminished in the past 10 years. Or maybe I never had it (not counting watching Bugs Bunny reruns).

So how does an automotive advertiser not just reach, rather keep someone hooked on their message? It’s called integrated marketing. They have to come at you from many angles, TV ads, car shows, the Internet, print ads, mobile ads, you name it. Whatever way they can catch your attention and pound the message home over and over. Eventually, if you like what and how they are saying something, you get hooked and keep coming back.

VW, and their latest ads for the Golf GTI in Canada are a wonderful example of doing this. First, let me get to the integrated marketing thing, which I’ll keep short. Between the TV ads and the fantastic website they developed (vwsundaydrive.ca), you get a rich experience that makes you want to play on their site for longer than 5 minutes, which is good in Internet terms. In fact, you could spend an hour there or more. Watch the ads, play the games, create music mixes, share the mixes with your friends via Facebook and Twitter. Nothing mind-blowing, but just really, really well done.

And now comes the ad part. Being from the Great White North, I know we have a unique sense of humor and this VW ad is proof of it. Check it out:

What makes this ad so good? As usual, it’s VW’s great mix of imagery, music and excellent humor. These Germans know funny ads, and this one is typical of the brand. The two guys sitting in their Golf GTI, just cruising the badlands of Alberta, getting into all sorts of weird situations (did you see the milk shakes part and the look on the passenger’s face?). And the bit when he throws off his shoes into the tree and the ensuing stink that the driver and passenger must endure.

The music is just superb and fits the mood of the commercial perfectly, it’s simple, retro and laid back, just what you want for a Sunday drive. There are no claims of 0 to 60 in under 7.0 seconds, no mention of the technology, or the handling, nothing like that. No boasts of any kind, just sheer enjoyment at driving this vehicle. And I think the music sums up the intent of the commercial.

Which I watched at least 5 times. And that is the point of this post. VW kept me coming back to the ad, the website, and made me want to know more. So I say, well done, VW, you actually held my attention for a whole 30 minutes. You win the grand prize, my admiration and a Facebook posting spreading the word about this site.

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