Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Volkswagen to Rely Solely on IPhone App for GTI Launch

CM Comment: A great example of how traditional media is no longer delivering and companies are looking to new media options for more impact. To foster awareness, the app even includes a competition where you can win one of the six limited-edition 2010 GTI's.

October 22, 2009 – summarized from AdAge.com -- Volkswagen of America is launching the newest-generation GTI exclusively on an iPhone app, a cost-efficient approach the automaker said is a first for the industry.

How cost efficient? When the marketer introduced the GTI in 2006, it spent $60 million on a big-budget blitz with lots of network TV. By comparison, an executive familiar with the matter estimates the annual budget for mobile AOR services is $500,000. And while an iPhone-only strategy may seem limiting, consider this: In September, Apple reported there are more than 50 million iPhone and iPod touch customers worldwide. By comparison, CBS' "NCIS," the most-watched show for week ending Oct. 18, reached 21 million viewers and commands an average price of $130,000 for a single 30-second spot.

Of course, there is a real danger the automaker will miss many prospects using only one narrowly targeted marketing tool. But Tim Ellis, Volkwagen of America's VP-marketing, maintains it is a highly targeted strategy to directly reach the GTI customer, a tech-savvy, social-media activist who spends time on mobile devices, most often iPhones. "It's a homerun in terms of the demo overlap," said Nihal Mehta, CEO of local-search and networking app Buzzd.

Coming at a time when advertisers and agencies are trying to figure out how to get their apps to get noticed -- and downloaded -- amid the more than 65,000 in the App Store, the question arises: Will viral be enough for the GTI app? The game includes built-in functionality for players to send messages via Twitter and upload game play-videos to YouTube. Digital experts such as Mr. Nihal, who founded text-messaging company Ipsh and sold it to Omnicom Group in 2005, thinks these vehicles will prove more effective than paid media.

"Viral tactics work because media buys aren't that compelling anymore," he said. "You can get clicks, but even if an app is free, people don't want to download it. They really have to be invested or told by a friend." He especially thinks the competition and incentive to play and beat other players will work to make the app popular.

Small Society's Mr. Zachary agreed, especially since the game has incentive beyond entertainment: a chance to win a new car. For consumers, more game play means more chances to win one of the six limited-edition 2010 GTI's that the Herndon, Virginia-based automaker is giving away as part of the launch. Beyond the competition, the fact that the mobile-only car launch is a first is a big draw for press, too.

Read more at: http://bit.ly/2jynE6

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