With its smooth, bell-shape and built-in flower vase, the Volkswagen Beetle has been regarded as a car for females. It looks feminine and nice. The result has been a car that does not have a large male market segment in the past. A year ago, the old Beetle design had only 29% of its buyers who were male. What was keeping the guys away? Styling and image.
But VW wanted to change its image and make their new Beetle model more manly and rough. It gave the car a sleeker profile – not as rounded – and a more aggressive appearance and broader stance. To promote the new Beetle, VW took the message to the most masculine of all American sporting events – the Super Bowl. The ad used a big golden retriever to show how a workout could make both dog, and car, more masculine and tough.
Did it work? Yes, 43% of the buyers of the new model have been male. VW’s next move is to strengthen the new market direction with a manly diesel engine version of the model.
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Poll students:
- What do they drive now?
- What would they like to drive?
- The types of cars we buy tell a lot about us. Name several categories of possible markets and ask students what type of car would best fit that category. Why?
- Outdoorsmen ______
- Families ______
- Soccer moms ______
- Single men _____
- Single women ____
- Construction workers ____
- Sales executives ____
- Have students view old and new VW Beetle ads. What are the differences in target market and message?
- Discuss the risks and rewards of this new approach by VW to reach males.
- Have students review the Web site for Volkswagen. How has the company targeted different market segments?
Source: Brandchannel.com, 3/22/12