Tuesday, November 3

Racing Ahead: Volkswagen Finds Firemint


Want to entice people to like advertising? There's an app for that.

Volkswagen seems to be hitting a home run in one of the least likely places. While it has six iPhone apps in circulation (three of them related to racing), its partnership with Firemint represents a real win-win for both companies and consumers.

Firemint is the company behind the number one racing game for iTunes apps. While the game was previously riding high with stellar reviews from MobileCrunch, UGO, and the iPhone Games Network, the $6.99 price point and news of some public relations firm inflating expectations made some people hesitate.

Enter Volkswagen.

Volkswagen sponsored the game's free trial, with three tracks and six all-new 2010 GTI sport hatches. Doing so makes a trial version possible, which entices more people to download the game after their test play.

At the same time, it positions the GTI as a sports car (2.0 liter FSI turbo engine), with an MDI with iPod feature that plugs into the touchscreen radio or navigation system. In sum, it helps reintroduce a hipness that the German car company almost lost under Crispin Porter + Bogusky's watch.

Entertaining Ads.

Never mind the debacle that once was Bud.tv. When advertisers match the right marketing with the right media and distribution, entertainment advertising works. The Real Racing app has since soared to the number one download and has created an all-positive buzz up about the brand. As a bonus for Firemint, its paid Real Racing app is currently ranked 29 and climbing.

"With the personalization of media and the challenges inherent with reaching constantly connected consumers, we tasked ourselves to rethink the way we launch vehicles in order to engage our consumers in a meaningful way," said Tim Ellis, vice president of marketing, Volkswagen of America, Inc. "The GTI customer is a tech-savvy consumer who enjoys social networking, playing games and spending time on mobile devices — most often an iPhone."

Even more telling is that while consumers claim they hate advertising, the Real Racing app demonstrates that what the public says and does are two different things. In this case, the launch of the GTI brand added realism to the game without being overly intrusive (despite seeing the Volkswagen brand on every screen).

What's even more interesting is that while most mobile success stories convinced us mobile marketing was all about adding convenience, this app offers up a different perspective. While pizza might be a product of convenience, other products and services might mean something else.

Imagine that. Social media and mobile marketing are situational. Original strategies, not best practice tactics, point the way.

2 comments:

Krystal Hosmer of Solsisters on 11/4/09, 7:29 AM said...

As always, Rich, your comments are insightful and timely. I really enjoy all your posts and learn so much from your "reverse engineering" of strategy.

Rich on 11/4/09, 7:33 AM said...

Krystal,

Thank you so much, especially for the "'reverse engineering' of strategy" construct. I never really thought of it that way, but it does seem to fit.

Hope all is well with you!

Best,
Rich

Post a Comment

 

Blog Archive

Google+ Followers

by Rich Becker Copyright © 2010 Designed by Bie Blogger Template