VW Uses "Double Marketing" to Position Brand

I2m_vw_safehappens_3 For anyone who has ever sat in a marketing strategy session, inevitably the discussion usually comes down to dueling product/service benefits.  Does it taste great?  Is it less filling?  I suspect it was a creative impass that led Miller to come up with what is probably the most famous dueling benefit campaign ever created.  But too often marketers try to cram too many be nefits into their marketing campaigns, with far less effectiveness.  They want to do an unbranded viral video to build buzz, but still have coupons for their product.  They want to cater their product to 18-24 year old males, but not forget about their almost equally important target audience of the suburban stay-at-home mom.  Oh, and there has to be a hispanic component, by the way.  Sound familiar?  As any marketing strategist will tell you, ultimately the solution we all seek is to hone in on the one thing that makes a product or service different, unique and necessary.  The core insight.  Phil Dusenberry wrote a great book on the power of this insight and how it has driven him his entire career.  But what if it’s not one thing?  What if choosing one thing means you have to ignore markets you don’t want to ignore?  Maybe it’s time to try Double Marketing.

I2m_vw_yourfast Double Marketing is NOT stuffing multiple messages into one campaign.  It’s running multiple campaigns on different messages concurrently.  Coke was the only company that typically tried this, because of their huge marketing budget – by engaging different ad agencies and pitting them against each other.  Many times they would run different ad campaigns at exactly the same time.  This is close to Double Marketing, but the campaigns didn’t really work together.  Contrast this with the approach created by the smart team at CP+B when they took over the Volkswagen account.  In the span of the last few months, they have launched the edgy "Unpimp my ride" campaign about design, control and the  "obeying your fast" for the GTI – as well as the "safe happens" jarring TV ad spots for the Jetta.  Despite the controversy, the tandem efforts work nicely to push the counterintuitive marriage of speed and safety as benefits at the heart of the VW brand.  The campaigns are brilliant examples of how to use Double Marketing to push your core messages, even when they happen to conflict.  In doing so, VW doesn’t have to isolate or marginalize any audience it doesn’t want ignore, or position the brand in a single light.  This is yet another marketing strategy and series of campaigns from CP+B that others should pay attention to.

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