The Beetle or The Beatles? Go down memory lane with this brand’s “iconic” guerrilla marketing stunt! [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]
Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more.
A Note from Miles Everson:
I love guerrilla marketing!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with it yet, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional marketing strategy. According to Jay Conrad Levinson, campaigns of this type work most of the time because they’re easy to appreciate and execute, and sometimes, inexpensive.
Businesses that conduct these campaigns are great at sparking emotional reactions that lead to high engagement rates and lasting brand recall.
Curious to know more about these kinds of marketing stunts?
Continue reading to know how one automotive company used guerrilla marketing to promote and raise awareness about its new Park Assist technology.
Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing
What does it mean to say someone or something is “iconic?”
To consider someone or something as “iconic” means that person, thing, or event is regarded as a representative symbol or worthy of veneration.
An example of this?
The 1969 The Beatles album, “Abbey Road!”
This photo of The Beatles crossing Abbey Road has become one of the most iconic photos in rock and roll history. In fact, the album cover has grown into something larger than itself, appearing on t-shirts, coffee mugs, and others across the globe.
However, there’s a bit of an issue in this album cover.
While the photo has become an icon throughout the years, what many never noticed was the Lotus White Volkswagen Beetle illegally parked on the left side of the frame, behind George Harrison.
The car was parked half on the sidewalk and half on the street!
Here’s the thing: While Volkswagen was glad that one of its cars became part of an iconic photo in music history, the company was also not too impressed with how the car’s parking turned out.
So, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the album cover in 2019, Volkswagen decided to do something about it and recreate the “Abbey Road” cover.
Enter Volkswagen’s Park Assist Technology…
The Park Assist is a tool installed in some of the company’s car models from 2019 until now. It helps drivers park their vehicles quickly and easily with just a touch of a button.
Once activated, the Park Assist will automatically park the car, cleverly steering into the tightest of spaces. All the driver needs to do is work on the pedals.
Amazing, right? For drivers who are struggling parking their cars in public spaces, especially parallel parking, this tool would definitely be helpful!
Let’s go back to the recreation of the “Abbey Road” album cover…
To showcase how far Volkswagen has come in the 50 years since the photo was taken, the company, together with marketing agency Nord DDB in Sweden, replicated the image BUT featured a perfectly parked Beetle minus The Beatles.
Following this stunt, Volkswagen and Pet Sounds Records in Stockholm released a 50th anniversary “Reparked Edition” of “Abbey Road” in vinyl, which was made for sale in record stores and online. The car company also published a product recall ad in newspapers across Sweden.
Lastly, Volkswagen and Nord DDB also took over Stockholm’s Central Station with digital ads about the “Reparked Edition” of “Abbey Road” to increase people’s awareness about the guerrilla marketing stunt.
Was Volkswagen’s “Reparked Edition” of the “Abbey Road” album effective?
The recreation of the iconic album cover became a trending topic around the world, both online and offline. It also turned people’s attention to Volkswagen’s Park Assist Technology and how far the company has come from 1969 to 2019.
As Jeanette Asteborg, Marketing Director at Volkswagen Sweden, said:
“Volkswagen continuously innovates to make the driving experience better and safer for drivers and pedestrians. We want to show how far our technology has come since that little parking mishap so that no one else has to live with a constant reminder of their parking fail.”
Here are the results of the guerrilla marketing stunt:
- The campaign garnered a total of 425 million media impressions throughout its duration.
- The “Reparked Edition” vinyl covers sold out just 2 hours and 19 minutes after it was put on sale!
- Volkswagen donated all the proceeds of the vinyl cover sales to BRIS, a children’s rights organization supported by the car company since 2010.
- Various influencers and media outlets such as Jim Moret, Terry O’Reilly, FOX Business, AdAge, CNN 7 News, 7News Boston, Muse by CLIO, and more talked about the recreated “Abbey Road” cover and Volkswagen’s Park Assist Technology.
- Volkswagen’s “Reparked Edition” of the “Abbey Road” album cover became a part of Beatlemania and has been on display at The Beatles Museum in Liverpool since then.
Good job, Volkswagen and Nord DDB! These results show the guerrilla marketing stunt has captured the attention of music lovers and car owners alike all over the world!
Indeed, guerrilla marketing works wonders for brands and businesses that want to promote their products and interact with their target market unconventionally.
In Volkswagen’s case, recreating The Beatles’ iconic album cover proved not only attention-grabbing but also fun and informative in educating people about how the passing of time carries with it technological breakthroughs that make life easier.
We hope you find today’s topic interesting and enjoyable!
Get inspired with Volkswagen’s “Reparked Edition” guerrilla marketing stunt and start planning your own iconic campaigns too!
(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”
Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”
Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.
Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.
Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.
This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.
It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).
Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.
The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.
Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.
This is every business’ or brand’s dream!
Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.
Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.
Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.
Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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