Volkswagen has moved beyond flower power. It is out with a fresh incentive to drive sales among young people, a tricked-out guitar that can be played through the vehicle’s audio system.
Through Dec. 31, consumers who purchase or lease a designated Volkswagen model from the company’s 2007 line—including Jetta, Jetta GLI, GTI, Rabbit, New Beetle and New Beetle Convertible—will receive the $400 First Act GarageMaster guitar. Volkswagen’s target market is 18- to 34-year-olds, however this campaign is aimed at a particular attitude.
“We know that Volkswagen owners have a huge interest in music,” said Volkswagen spokesperson Kevin Price. “It plays a huge part in their attitude and lifestyle.”
To prevent any mix-ups, each electric guitar is fitted with the car’s Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) and has custom-colored pick guards that complement the car’s exterior. The guitars feature the traditional Volkswagen logo and a “V Dub” inlay, a guitar strap made of safety belts, VW knobs, a blue indicator light that matches the instrument panel lighting of Volkswagen vehicles, VW logo guitar picks and a carrying case for the instrument.
The promotion is executed in Volkswagen’s more than 600 dealerships where consumers get a first look at the actual guitar. After purchase, the automaker ships the customized guitar to the new vehicle owner. Meanwhile, consumers can log onto V-Dubsrock.com to learn about the Volkswagen program specifics, the guitar or take interactive guitar lessons with musician Dweezil Zappa.
“Certainly there is a lot of buzz as people are talking about [the promotion] a great deal,” Price said. “It has created a lot of exposure and has caused consumers to converge on our dealerships increasing showroom traffic for the fourth quarter.” Price did not provide showroom traffic figures.
The promotion is “a chance for us to connect Volkswagen to a consumer’s lifestyle and creates yet another touch point,” he said.
In the past, Volkswagen partnered with consumer lifestyle brands to create touch points to move vehicles off lots. In 1996 and 1997, consumers interested in the automaker’s Jetta model could purchase a Trek edition, which came with a Trek Mountain Bike. A similar promotion in 1998 incentivized consumers with a snowboard offering.
The current promotion is being supported via three TV spots featuring Grammy-winning artist John Mayer, Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash (formerly of Guns N’ Roses) and actor Christopher Guest, known for his portrayal of Nigel Tufnel in This Is Spinal Tap, as well as through print and radio. Volkswagen’s AOR Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Miami, pitched Volkswagen the idea for the incentive offering to draw music loving consumers to the brand, Price said.