Volkswagen Wants Car Owners’ Stories

Volkswagen launched the “Why VW” campaign last month, focused on the stories of customers and their cars.

Along with television spots, the brand set up a microsite,, where fans of the brand can find the stories and submit their own. The videos and written entries fall under five “values:” performance, design, quality, environment, and safety.

Customers talk about how much they love their cars, their personal history with the VW brand, and tales of road trips taken in VWs.

Samantha Binette from Wilmington sent in her story on Aug. 25. She wrote, “It is IMPOSSIBLE to drive around slowly in my 2012 GLI. I merge onto the highway and I’m up to a decent speed before I’m even off the ramp. I just CAN’T help it.”

A professionally produced video of Nikos Kline, a teenager, and his “Herbie”-esque bug is posted on the site, as well as a blog entry about Alex Flynn, a VW driver who started a 3,500-mile trip across the United States to raise money for Parkinson’s research.

“Most everyone’s got a good VW story,” said Charlie Taylor, VW’s general manager of digital marketing. “We’re very fortunate to have such passionate customers.”

The campaign kicked off Sept. 17 with over 300 pieces of crowdsourced and company produced content, according to Taylor. The site received 30,000 unique visitors in its first week.

“Why VW,” is also the focal point of the brand’s Facebook page, which has over 1.3 million likes. The car company’s social media account, including its Twitter feed, receives over 4,400 engagements (retweets, comments, likes, and shares) per day, said Taylor.

“[The engagement] all depends on the content. [Fans are] sharing with friends and family and that’s important. We’re fortunate right now to be part of that discussion. It’s important for us that those stories don’t go away. ”

The company is “trying to more or less enter the conversation about a topic” by creating and curating content, he said. Over the next month, there will be a bigger digital push from the brand to flesh out the project.

“For VW in America, it’s a very crucial time for us,” Taylor said. “We have a strategy of growth in the U.S. In August we closed our strongest sales month since 1973. There is a lot of momentum. We think now is a great time to crowdsource and do what we can to capture stories and conversations about people’s experiences with our products.”

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