Volkswagen has received pitches for a multimillion-pound sales promotion drive to exploit the car company’s sponsorship of this summer’s Rolling Stones tour.
Four agencies – IMP, Interfocus, CBH & Partners and incumbent Barraclough Hall Woolston Grey – pitched last week for the UK business.
The account underlines the increasing emphasis on direct marketing and sales promotion, which now account for an estimated £3m of Volkswagen’s total £30m annual marketing spend in the UK.
It also highlights changed thinking across the car industry where manufacturers are constantly searching for cost effectiveness after a year in which above-the-line advertising spend hit a record of more than £500m.
Volkswagen now concentrates its marketing spend on ads, direct marketing and sales promotion at the expense of sponsorship and other “less tangible” activities.
In future, all sales promotions will be handled on a project, rather than a retained, basis.
“The shift has been brought about by a mixture of circumstances,” says Volkswagen direct marketing manager David Oliver.
“Volkswagen needed to be more aggressive in its marketing and its products to be more price-competitive. It is now nearly as aggressive as its rivals.”
“The Rolling Stones sponsorship is appropriate to the UK market and its timing – mid July – is perfect for the peak August sales period,” adds Oliver.