You can always shock viewers into buying your Brand

Watch this commercial before reading the post.

Last night I watched an episode of Mad Men where Harry Crane, the new head of the new television department at Sterling Cooper (It’s season 2) almost got fired because he allowed a Maytag commercial to appear in a TV programme related to communism.

He nearly lost his job because the brand didn’t want to be associated with a contentious or negative issue. This has been a standard approach of brands over the years which is why you won’t see a commercial for an airline aired on a programme about aviation disasters or a commercial for an automotive company in a programme that features a car crash.

Well that used to be the case. Recently Volkswagen in Hong Kong and O&M created an this campaign solely for cinema audiences. It’s interactive and gets the viewers attention.

I like the ad but I’d like to know more about it. What is it for, is it to sell cars? Or is it a public service exercise? If the former, does it send the right message and will consumers remember the brand for the right reason? If the latter, does it make a difference? Such ads don’t stop people smoking, taking drugs or drink driving so why will this one work?

Like I say it’s a great bit of creativity. VW had a record year in 2013, selling 2.51 million cars in China and Hong Kong. This will certainly help VW stay top of consumer’s minds. But I think Harry Crane is turning in his grave. That’s not a plot spoiler. Well I don’t think so as I’m only on season 2!


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