Volkswagen Enlists Senior Siblings to Dispel Diesel Myths

Have you seek how Volkswagen has enlisting senior siblings in their new commercials?  I have.

Volkswagen’s funny new campaign features viral video stars to dispute old wives’ tales about clean diesel vehicles.

In an effort to renew interest in the carmaker’s TDI (clean diesel) line, Volkswagen launched a video campaign starring the Golden Sisters, an improv comedy trio. The Sisters are indeed real-life siblings, who have risen to popularity in recent years thanks to their natural comedic chemistry.

In the six videos, the sisters show concern over common misconceptions regarding diesel fuel, only to have them quickly dashed by a Volkswagen TDI vehicle. The ads aim to alter consumers’ beliefs that diesel is smelly, or hard to find, doesn’t accellerate quickly, etc.

The spots are sure to earn a chuckle or two, as the natural comic timing of the sisters shines through, even in commercial format. The reason for this is that – just like their YouTube videos and Oprah Winfrey Network reality show – the sisters were given only a rough outline, and encouraged to improvise the ads.

Pete Favat – chief creative officer of Deutsch North America, who produced the spots – says that “they’re sisters, so they’ve probably been acting this way their entire lives. So, we gave them kind of a structure in which to go by, and what to talk about, and we worked within that structure.”

Kudos to Volkswagen and Deutsch North America for latching onto a viral phenomenon, while still maintaining the core of what made the sisters popular in the first place.

And then there’s Maude.  Don’t get me started on the Golden Girls.

Howard Davidson Arlington, MA

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Domino’s Teaches Consumers and Competition How to Make Pizza

Domino’s takes a clever jab at its competitors, while also entertaining consumers with an interactive website.

Domino’s Pizza School is now open for enrollment. The pizza mega-chain unveiled an interactive website, which teaches consumers how to make their own Domino’s pizza step by step. Along the way, the brand takes shots at its competition, implying that they’ll steal Domino’s recipe by taking the online course.

The main reason I like this campaign is simply because it’s so much better than the brand’s advertising from the last few years. Remember the “Oh Yes We Did” campaign? Yeah, that’s the one in which Domino’s chose to “face our critics and reinvent our pizza from the crust up.” (Surprisingly, the website for that campaign is still up.)  I was having none of that.  Not to mention that I have not ordered Domino’s since the 197o’s.

“The Pizza Turnaround” was the first time I can recall a company using the “our product has always pretty much been total crap, but we promise it’s better now” strategy. Ever since those ads, Domino’s marketing has had a stench of desperation to it. For years now, company CEO Patrick Doyle (who’s compensation was $7,453,021 last year) has constantly been on television, reminding consumers of how great Domino’s ingredients are, and stressing the craft of making pizza.

The Pizza School itself is nothing more than a momentary diversion. However, the very fact that this new Domino’s campaign shows the company exuding confidence – rather than desperation – for the first time in years indicates a serious step in the right direction.

Let’s see if the school can help roll in some dough for Domino’s.

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

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Macy’s Sings Consumers Back to School

Macy’s is welcoming students back to school with an a cappella challenge.

With a cappella on a surprising popularity surge – thanks to the “Pitch Perfect” films and vocal groups like Pentatonix – Macy’s is looking to cash in on the craze. The retailer has set up a challenge for elementary, junior high and high school students, in which three winning schools will receive $25,000.

The retailer’s campaign kicks off with a 15-second video spot starring Pentatonix, as the group sings the Jackson Five classic “I Want You Back.” The band members urge students to check out Macy’s YouTube page, where students are challenged to “Bring it like Pentatonix.”

Macy’s is making a smart move here, as the campaign blends interactivity with creativity. Classrooms all over the country will be filled with song – and increased Macy’s brand awareness with a young target market.

A Macy’s spokesperson correctly points out that “millennials turn to social media platforms to understand what’s hot in fashion. It’s imperative that we as a retailer stay on top of how fashion trends are being communicated.”

The a cappella push comes on the heels of Macy’s 2014 back-to-school lip sync challenge, amplifying that campaign’s creative aspects without sacrificing any of its interactive nature. The fact that the a cappella challenge targets an age group that may not typically get excited about department stores is icing in the cake.

And what’s up with me writing about back to school the first week in August?

Howard Davidson Arlington MA

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