Newspaper ads that talk to you

Posted: September 21, 2010 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

After plugging a hole in the Times of India front page last year for the launch of the Polo (which incidentally reminded me more of the mint), we see yet another expensive print media innovation from Volkswagen. Today’s ToI has a special supplement with the Volkswagen Vento ad on the last page. This ad contains a small speaker with a sensor that plays a voiceover only when you open up the folded newspaper. While I laud Volkswagen for being bold enough to experiment with innovations time and again, I wonder whether this mega expensive exercise was the right way to go about for the launch. Don’t get me wrong. It made me notice the ad and I’m blogging about it. But what I am getting at is the issue of relevance – whether Volkswagen was the right fit for this innovation.
The audio track played on the speaker is nothing but a plain VoiceOver which adds zero value to the advertisement. There is nothing that the audio can tell me which I can’t already take in from reading the Ad. This type of media innovation would have been more suited for a brand which has an established jingle/theme (eg. Airtel) or for one where audio is an essential component of the product being advertised. (maybe the music release of a film w one surefire hit song playing as a sample)
In my opinion, the perfect candidate for this print innovation at this time would be KBC 4. On the launch date, they could take out a full page ad with the famous theme music playing when the consumer opens the newspaper!
The fault in this case lies with the agency. In their quest to generate maximum ‘award-worthy’ work, agencies often end up shortchanging the client by preferring gimmicks over effectiveness. I am proud to say that in my four years at agencies, my team can never be accused of the above.
The agency concerned here may get it’s Emvies nomination, but as far as I am concerned, this exercise is a wonderful opportunity lost to do something really groundbreaking. (Pls excuse any typos. Sending this post from my phone)

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