VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER by OMD Auckland for Volkswagen

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VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER

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Industry Cars, Trucks, Vans & Pick-Up Trucks
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market New Zealand
Agency OMD Auckland
Released April 2010

Credits & Description

Category: Best Use of Online Advertising
Advertiser: VOLKSWAGEN
Product/Service: VW TRANSPORTER (COMMERCIAL VAN)
Date of First Appearance: Apr 11 2010
Entrant Company: OMD NEW ZEALAND, Auckland, NEW ZEALAND
Entry URL: http://www.comparevans.co.nz
Account Director: Craig Marshall (OMD)
Head of Search: Alex Radford (OMD)
Digital Director: Jack Flewett (OMD)
Managing Partner: Andrew Reinholds (OMD)
Media placement: Performance Display Banner Ads - Yahoo And MSN Direct Response Networks - 4 April 2010
Media placement: SEM Adwords And Text Links - Google - 4 April 2010

Insights, Strategy & the Idea
In NZ Toyota dominates the commercial vehicle sector. It is the most spontaneously recalled brand in the country. Of the 40,000 category searches on Google in 2009, ‘Toyota Hiace’ represented 32,000 of these. VOLKSWAGEN TRANSPORTER; less than 1000.
Volkswagen had a big problem – zombies. Their TRANSPORTER van was superior to Toyota’s ‘Hiace’ in many ways, and with new competitive pricing, cheaper too. But potential buyers were blindly sleepwalking to Hiace. VOLKSWAGEN wanted us to wake up ‘Hiace Zombies’ to the benefits of the Transporter and increase market share by 22% - in a declining category.
The internet, specifically ‘search’, is a major (and growing) source of influence in the commercial vehicle path to purchase. This combined with ‘price’ being the main reason for switching in the category, lead us to the strategy of intervening in ‘Hiace Zombies’ online search behaviour by drawing a direct comparison between TRANSPORTER and Hiace.

Creative Execution
Convinced that TRANSPORTER was a better product at a better price we took a new and potentially controversial approach. Our idea was to create a commercial vehicle comparison site and www.comparevans.co.nz was born. It provided a permanent presence for TRANSPORTER and place where potential buyers could compare the relative merits of different vehicles in the category.
To get people to www.comparevans.co.nz we optimised the site with keywords we knew would influence natural ranking. Even the website name was carefully chosen. This was supported with paid search, contextually targeted links and performance display. When anyone Googled ‘Toyota Hiace’, the most searched, or ‘compare vans’, the second most searched for term in the category, our comparison site was one of the top search results returned.
Despite the potentially controversial nature of this approach, there was no competitor retaliation because of the accuracy and transparency of information on the site.

Results and Effectiveness
www.comparevans.co.nz was just the wake-up call needed to convert Hiace Zombies to TRANSPORTER buyers. Car dealers across the country also used the site as a handy information source.
100% of our budget was invested into digital, bucking the category convention of using ‘trade press’. A huge strategic win in itself.
Using the combination of search, contextual links and online display, over 17,000 people visited the site - exceptional in a niche market. Of the 40,000 category related Google searches in 2010, we converted over 25% to comparevans.co.nz.
Most importantly, TRANSPORTER’s sales rose by 57%, well above the target of 22%.