As if the road blocks and random one-ways thanks to Metro Rail Project, electricity cable and water pipe repairs aren’t enough, we have roadblocks galore on media. The latest one was on today’s Times of India with Volkswagen India taking over the paper – 12 pages out of the 22 had ads for Volkswagen.
The PR folks have been on an overdrive of late with trade magazines and portals plugging the launch of Volkswagen in India. The intent is clear: to tell India that Volkswagen is not just serious but betting big on India. The news value of the entire activity would be (a) Volkswagen is here and have inaugurated a plant (b) Beetle is being launched in December (c) other brands from the VW stable will also be here. The rest of stuff – the history of VW and their innovations are all aimed to create a feel good factor, which in any case VW would not be lacking in India. I seriously doubt if anyone will actually go through all that copy anyway.
It’s created buzz and got people talking alright but lots of it is not complimentary (see Twitter search, blog reactions, article). So was it an over kill? Given the likely steep price at which these things come, I would say so. As a fan of Volkswagen’s global advertising, I am happy that they are here and getting in the Beetle. I am sure the message of ‘we are here to stay’ and ‘we have a glorious past’ (as an add on) could have been achieved even otherwise. What say?