With a new advertising campaign that some are calling disturbing, Volkswagen is attempting to cut through the advertising clutter and get noticed by viewers. Featuring high-impact crashes, the ads are paying off with increased interest. According to a USA Today news story, requests for brochures are up 37 percent at call centers and 56 percent on the Web compared with the period before the ads started.
While the jarring ads are paying off in the short run, the jury is still out on whether they will spur VW sales in the long run. According to the statistics, the ads are effective in getting people’s attention, but what will happen to the VW brand? Is Volkswagen risking its brand by going for the short-term gain? We marketing wonks can only watch and learn.