A watchword for quality in the advertising industry, Volkswagen’s
creative from BMP DDB is generally regarded as having no peers.
You know the campaigns. There’s the ’any excuse for driving the Bora’
campaign, the much-vaunted ’surprisingly ordinary prices’ campaign for
the Golf and Polo, the ’German for detail’ ads for the Passat, and the
’a car, not a label’ campaign for the new Golf.
With such quality creative, it won’t be a surprise to discover that VW
has spent just short of pounds 40 million buying media in the first
seven months of this year. It spent around pounds 80 million last year,
and is expected to have spent a similar figure by the end of 1999.
MediaCom TMB’s success in winning the centralised pounds 80 million VW
planning and buying account from BBJ was big news this year. Media sales
people looking to win some of that business would do well to get to know
MediaCom group managing director Stephen Allan, who oversees the
account, or the account directors. They include Karen Blackett (Audi),
David Porter (VW), Fraser Riddell (Skoda) and Nick Lawson (Seat). TV
director Mark Collins and press director Steve Goodman will handle
There’s nothing very surprising in the media spend breakdown.
Although the complexity of the radio and press spend is notable, with
173 newspapers and magazines sharing the press spend, and 97 radio
stations on the roster.
Total spend on TV- up to August this year - was pounds 24.7 million,
while pounds 9.6 million was placed in the press, pounds 2.8 million in
outdoor and pounds 2.1 million in radio. The TV and press spend was
fairly evenly spread. Outdoor peaked in February and April, with a spend
of more than pounds 900,000 in both months, while radio peaked in July,
with nearly pounds 600,000.
ITV’s total share was around pounds 12.3 million, with Granada
collecting pounds 1.3 million and Carlton getting pounds 750,000.
Channel 4 landed around pounds 6.5 million, while Channel 5 banked
The national papers enjoyed the lion’s share of the pounds 9.6 million
press spend. The Mail on Sunday won pounds 1,071,933 worth of
advertising and The Sunday Times landed pounds 932,474. They were used
for nearly all executions to reach their target audience of ABC1s aged
25-54. They were followed by The Daily Telegraph with pounds 571,986,
Daily Mail with pounds 510,539, The Sunday Telegraph with pounds 365,367
and The Express with pounds 346,587.
The motoring press did well too, with What Car? landing pounds 405,329,
Auto Express taking pounds 186,754 and Autocar with pounds 175,788.
Motoring press promotions included VW’s secondhand car brand - the
Volkswagen Used Approved Programme - using Post-It notes in the
magazines’ listing sections.
Obviously, the breakdown of the spend may change in the year ahead, with
MediaCom now at the helm. But it’s a surefire bet that the creative will
continue to be entertaining and effective.
Research by Media Monitoring Services, tel: 01344-627553