Volkswagen: Yet another dud innovation

Spending so much money on a daily, mass newspaper makes zero sense and the light blue headlines made reading difficult. In short, it was a very poor marketing ploy from every angle

Whether we like it or not, the Volkswagen chaps love to mess around with our newspapers, in the guise of media innovation. Their thinking seems to be this: Forget the money, forget the reader, forget the medium… at least we get spoken about. It's a completely senseless strategy, to my mind.

Anyways, this time, for their Passat that comes with the so-called 'BlueMotion Technologies', Volkswagen asks us to 'Think Blue'. And The Times of India (TOI) arrived with every single headline shaded blue. This quite obviously was done to coincide with the ongoing World Cup tournament, in which the Indian players wore blue jerseys. So, two birds were being killed with one blue stone, or so the Volkswagen team thinks.

Must say this is a rather 'subtle' innovation, given Volkswagen's earlier mischiefs. In the past, they have had large holes punched in newspapers, they even sponsored a 'speaking' newspaper where an offensive audio device was stuck into the pages. The sad trick that made me tear the TOI into bits in frustration.
And yes, as in the past, the latest innovation doesn't excite me either. For one, it's misplaced. The Passat is a bloody high-end car, so to spend so much money on a daily, mass newspaper makes zero sense. That's like 99.99% wastage of ad money. Yes, the TOI and the media buy agency must have made a lot of green with the blue, but Volkswagen has been the loser out here.

Two, as a reader, the light blue headlines sent readability for a toss. And one had to strain ones eyes to catch up with news. What does it generate then? Tremendous bad will. I recall cursing the Volkswagen gang for ruining my morning read. Is that the way to win consumers' hearts?

Lastly, I really have no idea what 'BlueMotion Technologies' does for me. And frankly, I don't even care. But because Volkswagen deliberately coincided their innovation with the World Cup, one assumed they were celebrating the boys in blue. But of course, they weren't. They were only riding the blue fever. So this left me even more confused and irritated. As in 'dhoondha pahaad, nikla neela chooha'.

In short, a poor marketing ploy from every angle. Usually, I am all for media innovations. But the Volkswagen managers must avoid them like plague. And if getting spoken about is the only purpose of advertising, Volkswagen can easily put out model Poonam Pandey in the buff in their ads. Yes, we will hotly discuss Passat, and yes, it will cost Volkswagen a lot less too.



Ravi Chhabra

6 years ago

Hi, I totally agree with you about" misuse " of ad space. While on the subject suggest do write about the ads which are printed only on half or quarter page ( front page ) which makes holding and reading the paper so difficult. I do not know whey newspapers force us to such" atrocities ", total disregard to the reader. The ad agencies may be saving money but then it leads to more annoyance.



In Reply to Ravi Chhabra 6 years ago

I have been a reader of TOI for at least 30 years, but finally switched to another national newspaper this week. What a relief and pleasure it is to read a newspaper that mostly contains news - none of irritating half pages or cheap gimmicks like an entire paper full of light blue headlines.


In Reply to Ravi Chhabra 6 years ago

I absolutely agree with ravi Chhabra regarding ads appearing on vertical quarter pages on main TOI or Bomay Times, etc. It makes reading and holding most difficult and irritating. High time they realise that this way they are antagoinising the readers against the product advertised.

Srei Infra to seek govt nod to use Sarfaesi Act

According to Srei Infra chairman and managing director Hemant Kanoria, the use of Sarfaesi Act will enable the company to settle recovery disputes faster and dispose of 'fictitious' cases and help in better stress asset management

Kolkata: Srei Infrastructure Finance will soon seek the government's nod to use the Sarfaesi Act for better recovery management, reports PTI.

"After the new status of infrastructure finance company, we believe that now we are eligible to use the Sarfaesi Act. We will make a presentation before the government," Srei Infra chairman and managing director Hemant Kanoria told PTI here.

The use of Sarfaesi Act will enable the company to settle recovery disputes faster and dispose of 'fictitious' cases and help in better stress asset management, he said.

The Act has helped banks in faster recovery of bad loans through auction of mortgaged property.

On how the company would be benefited from the new status, Mr Kanoria said, "It will help us in reducing cost of funds by 50-100 basis points and we will be able to raise long-term funds."

He also said dependence on bank liability was likely to get reduced from current level of 60%, but the quantity would depend on the cost of funds from other sources.

"We can issue long-term tax-free bonds but will take into consideration the appetite and the cost involved in managing retail investors," Mr Kanoria said.

Given the current cost of external commercial borrowings, tax free bonds with an 8.35%-8.5% coupon rate does not seems a lucrative option.

"We will review the market situation and need of resources and then take a call," Mr Kanoria added.


Google may be hit by antirust probe

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