Volkswagen still doesn't understand Viral Marketing...

At I just stumbled across a nice ad clip for the VW Golf (Clip as ZIP-File). I checked out Volkswagen's website and found another good clip, which is currently used for a traditional ad campaign on German television...

Both films - perhaps a little bit modified - would be perfect for a viral marketing campaign. But Volkswagen doesn't seem to care.

Although it is possible to download the clips from their site, VW is doing a lot of things wrong, which prevents this from becoming another viral marketing success story in the car industry...

...for example:
  • The clips are embedded in a Flash-only microsite, which looks nice, but comes with severe side effects: no one is able to link directly to them or to the site and Google et al. won't find anything there.

  • The distribution of the films isn't tracked, so Volkswagen doesn't know how many people have actually seen them.

  • There is no link at the end. If anyone wants to know, why the VW Golf is such a great car, he or she has to type in the URL and click around a few times to find the relevant information. Who does that ?

So, while competitors like Mazda or Ford have been using viral marekting successfully for quite some time now, Volkswagen still doesn't know how to do it.

Too bad, because with the right concept and just a few extra Euros, they would get so much more marketing power !

Update 25. Jan 2005 - more on Viral Marketing & Volkswagen: Small but Tough - "Fake" Viral Clip about the VW Polo