Volkswagen is on a quest to find out exactly what the people want, and they’re not afraid to use new technology to do it. And since 56% of the people want more technology in daily life, 69% of the people want interactive surveys and another 60% of the people want a decision made on what the best thing is since sliced bread, Volkswagen thought they’d take a stab at all of it.
Under the guise of its new campaign message of It’s what the people want, and presented by Max, the classic ‘64 talking Beetle and new brand spokesman, Volkswagen’s multi-platform initiative centers around a national polling effort utilizing user-generated content–in the form of voters’ responses collected through the online microsite and the mobile polling site–and disseminates the polling results across the Web via the hub site, vw.com/whatthepeoplewant, contextualized online banners, embeddable polls for bloggers (despite the fact that 67% of the people want “bloggers to shut up”), customizable t-shirts and an interactive Times Square billboard.
What’s most interesting about this campaign, besides the fact that it has nothing to do with cars, is the new technology used to achieve it. The banners use an advanced form of keyword targeting to determine what statement displays on what page, making them one of the first ever user-generated banner campaigns that is served contextually. This is all done real-time, using an application created specifically for the campaign. Volkswagen is also the first brand to utilize the ABC SuperSign’s “live interactivity” technology in Times Square. The technology allows two-way dialogue with passersby via SMS, allowing users to vote on polls from the central site database in real time with their mobile devices.
If music’s more your bag, VW is encouraging people to visit Pandora to influence the playlists of two online radio stations, called “Music for the People.” Already Pandora has received one of the highest rates of user submissions ever for these stations.
With total polling votes to date already passing 1 million, it’s quite clear that people are responding to this addictive little site and the campaign as a whole. In fact, already Volkswagen has seen a 28% increase in test drives since the initiative began.
Check it out, and you’ll probably spend a good part of your morning voting on all sorts of opinions you never knew you had. Will you be one of the 79% of people who want more time spent on the homeless than on lobster research? Or maybe you’ll be one of the 59% of people who want cones more than cups? Want America to go metric? You and 62% of the rest of the people do. How about the 64% of people who want pirates to fight ninjas in an epic battle? Maybe the political powers that be should take a gander as well to find out what’s really on the minds of the American people. Because a candidate who can tap into the 73% of people who want to take the tiny soap and shampoo bottles from hotel rooms can run my country any day.