Laughter is infectious. Even more so when the laughter is coming from a group of animated horses. These horses are the stars of a new Volkswagen commercial advertising the trailer assist feature of the new Tiguan car. The hilarious Volkswagen advert was published onto their YouTube channel on the 12th October and now has over 89,000 views.
Trailer assist may be a practical feature but Volkswagen proved that doesn’t mean it has to be marketed in a serious television advert. In the advert a group of horses are laughing hysterically at a man attempting to reverse a trailer without the trailer-assist technology. The driver fails miserably and drives away leaving the horses rolling around in the field in uncontrollable laughter similar to humans. Soon afterwards a man driving the Tiguan car appears and effortlessly reverses the trailer into the same parking space that the first guy could not.
There is an undeniable sense of panic when attempting to park in front of an audience. If people are watching the pressure is intensified for the driver to make a perfect park. This stress is something everyone is familiar with and the advert uses this knowledge to help the audience empathise with the driver. The risk of embarrassing yourself is enough of a threat to encourage a Tiguan car purchase.
A year later, Volkswagen is still feeling pressure from their emissions scandal and the massive 12 billion pound settlement paid. This means that more than ever they need to be engaging customers and proving themselves as a trustworthy brand. What better way to win back the consumers hearts than an advert showcasing humour, laughter and horses?
Consumers have an overwhelming amount options in every market sector. There are a lot of car companies, all with constantly developing features and designs, making competition between brands greater than ever. It is therefore paramount that Volkswagen does not allow the scandal to define their brand. They have apologised, refunded customers and paid the settlement. Now all they need to do is win back the emotional support from consumers. Is this humorous television advertisement a stepping-stone back into the heart of the consumer?
The public love animals and according to PFMA (2016) “it is estimated that over 40% of households have pets”. This therefore means many consumers sympathise with animals and an advert exhibiting several beautiful horses is going to be noticed and remembered. The most humorous part of the advert is the human qualities of the horses. They even make wheezing noises and mimic catching their breath back after a laughing fit.
Volkswagen proves car television advertising doesn’t have to be about speed and landscapes. This simple, clever and light-hearted advert showcases the car feature whilst leaving the audience with a smile on their faces.
PFMA, 2016. Pet Population 2016 [viewed 1 December 2016]. Available from: http://www.pfma.org.uk/pet-population-2016