• Apr 29th 2008 at 9:33AM
  • 25

Volkswagen knows that 73% of the people want to take the tiny soap and shampoo from hotel rooms. They also know that 60% of ice cream buyers prefer cones over cups. On an apparent quest to learn everything, Volkswagen's just-announced multi-faceted polling effort, known as It's what the people want, "...is a way of keeping in touch with what matters to people today," according to Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing for VW of America.

In addition to the web-based polling, VW has also taken their efforts to Times Square where consumers may participate in live-polling, via text SMS, with the ABC Supersign (pictured above). If music is more your style, VW is also encouraging people to visit pandora to influence the playlists of two Volkswagen radio stations. While we endorse any effort by an automaker to understand what the public really wants, this obsession to learn everything may have gone too far. We just can't seem to overlook the notion that while Volkswagen accepts the fact that 65% of the people want boxers, not briefs, they still haven't fully grasped the concept that we also want the new Scirocco on our shores. Where's that poll?

[Source: Volkswagen]


Consumers hit the polls on the Internet and Times Square to share their opinions

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. - Volkswagen of America, Inc. announced today a multi- faceted national polling effort to find out exactly what the people want. Utilizing media, technology and user-generated content like never before, the campaign allows consumers to engage in live online and mobile polling. A real-time mouthpiece of the people's collective voice, user-generated live polling begins at the hub site, vw.com/whatthepeoplewant, and then spreads across the web and in-market. The initiative is part of Volkswagen's new global brand platform, Das Auto, and underscores its fundamental message of It's what the people want.

"Volkswagen has a rich heritage as part of American popular culture and a deep personal connection with its customers," says Tim Ellis, Vice President of Marketing for Volkswagen of America, Inc. " It's what the people want is a way of keeping in touch with what matters to people today. Through this campaign, we offer a unique way for consumers to interface with the brand by providing an interactive platform for their thoughts and opinions to be seen and heard on a global stage."

To launch the polling initiative, Volkswagen teamed with GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media to take a reading of popular opinion from a representative national sample. Among the findings, Volkswagen found that six in ten (62%) Americans believe that people should not have to use their real names on Internet social networking sites despite heightened attention to online safety; a majority (52%) of Americans do not want restaurants to change their portion sizes in the face of a movement towards better health and well being; and in a world where creating balance between work and personal life is a priority, a resounding 85% of Americans say that people should not be allowed to bring their pets to work.

With total votes to date exceeding 666,375 Volkswagen's interactive polling program has produced interesting questions and findings on timely issues in current events, lifestyle trends and social behavior - ranging from the everyday to the quirky. The following is a sampling of results from the top 20 most-voted on polls, which received 4,865 votes each on average.

The most-voted on poll, reaching 12,253 votes, shows that 73% of people want to take the tiny soap and shampoo bottles from hotel rooms. Maybe ice cream vendors already know this, but 60% of people vote for cones more than cups. The people are speaking out against reality television, with 87% of people wanting fewer reality shows.
65% of the people want boxers not briefs.

Consumers can participate in live polling by visiting vw.com/whatthepeoplewant, where Max, a classic talking Beetle and the new brand spokesman, will invite them to share what it is the people want. Visitors can click to see the real time results of an array of popular opinion polls, vote "yes" or "no" on a variety of topics, share polls with friends, and even suggest new additional polls. By clicking "wear this poll," people can purchase customizable t-shirts displaying polls of their choice and who submitted it, thus giving people instant street fame.

The most active polls will have an opportunity to gain visibility on an even larger scale. Volkswagen recently unveiled an interactive display in Times Square where consumers can participate in live polling through the ABC SuperSign. Volkswagen is the first brand to utilize the ABC SuperSign's "live interactivity" technology, which allows two- way dialogue with passersby via SMS. Located at 43rd and Broadway, the SuperSign is a live 3685 square foot electronic screen featuring Max and generating questions from the database of polls hosted on vw.com/whatthepeoplewant. Consumers can use their cell phones to text message "yea" or "nay" in response to polls that appear on the SuperSign. Through innovative WAP technology, their texted votes will stream live on a lower news ticker.

Poll results will also be dynamically displayed via web banners after any poll reaches 1000 votes. These banners will be displayed across the web in topically relevant places, such as near a news article that relates to the poll's subject.

If music is more your speed, consumers can visit pandora.com from now through May 9, 2008 to collectively influence the playlists of two Volkswagen radio stations called "Music for the People." Listeners can vote for which artists they want to hear, and Pandora will generate all the requests into a truly democratic playlist.
For more information or to participate in polls, please visit vw.com/whatthepeoplewant.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's lame. Those ads with VW Beetle interviewing people are just god awful, and this is certainly way worse.

      But my opinion is biased as I despise yuppies and the thought of "latte drinking, iPhone talking, Docker wearing demographic that buys these cars" gives me dry heaves.

      So Gen Y whip up your cell phones and vote on whats important to you.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Is this like 'The Homer' that Homer Simpson designed? :)
      • 7 Years Ago
      87% of respondents want VW to stop making cars that fall apart.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This won't translate into any sales from moi because the products are still craptastic.

      Now if they would just make cool, reliable, reasonably priced products and sell them here, I'd be in. But we're talking about VW; they haven't done that for decades and no amount of gimmicky advertising is going to overcome that.
      • 7 Years Ago
      ive been a VW fan since i was 5..im 47..this is what i want...VW to be VW again..no cheesey polss..i dont care who wears boxers or breifs...i dont care who scoffs up shampoo from a Motel 6..give me my VW back..devid of electrical issues etc,,,bring the Polo here and make that the Rabbit..bring on Scirocco..i understand the whole Routan siduation,not crazy about it,but im sure its follow up will be more..uhhh "pure".God how id love to be employed by Volkswagen AG..herr Piech,are u listening??du ist der neue gott!
      • 7 Years Ago
      SSShhh VW can hear us!
        • 7 Years Ago
        now if they would actually listen to us....
      • 7 Years Ago
      Andrew, I really am that stupid. Thank you for noticing. Not everyone picks up as quickly as you have. Hopefully you are superficially feeding my vanity with your kind remarks.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I'm not trying to sell you a car.

        Also, learn how to reply.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Honestly, this wasn't that great an idea when Nintendo did it with their "Everybody Votes" channel on the Wii.
      • 7 Years Ago
      a good idea in spirit but the poll questions are beyond lame.

      mine was "the same engines you sell in Europe" but I doubt that'll make it.

      I'd add "stop making cars that look like Toyotas" "Polo/Lupo plx k thx" "I don't WANT a reskinned Dodge minivan"
      • 7 Years Ago
      Cars designed and engineered by committees suck. Cars designed and engineered by polls will probably suck, too.
        • 7 Years Ago
        Wow Andrew. That totally wasn't necessary.

        Regardless, this is kind of old news. I was invited into this poll a few months ago. -- I think their pool of people was from older VW marketing stunts. I was in the Passat one, where they sent me this bag full of gum, stickers, pads of paper, and pens with the passat plastered all over them. In the poll, I answered one question. -- I realized I had wasted a valuable five seconds of my life answering it, so promptly stopped.
        • 7 Years Ago
        • 7 Years Ago
        Oh god, they're not designing cars based on poles, they're superficially feeding into our vanity in an overblown advertising stunt. Note how none of the questions have anything to do with cars.

        Are you really that stupid?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Assuming this will lead to a new 'Poll then Drive' Sales Event?
      • 7 Years Ago
      how about DO give what the people want?

      Like the fox and the polo gti?

      VW used to mean value and performance.
      NOT "upscale" douchebaggery.
      there are trying to be like the "Apple" of cars now.

        • 7 Years Ago
        I agree mostly. I don't like apples, but that sort of branding isn't as douchebaggery in automobiles because automobiles are not standardized, like computers. -- Basically, what I mean is that an Apple is the same thing as an HP, except it has a fancy case and comes in really nice packaging (the packaging you throw away after you take the computer out). -- A premium car, however, is completely different in every way from a non-premium car.

        -- I'd argue that VWs are more expensive than their rivals, but that's a different story. ... Just like how you have to appreciate how Toyotas will last forever, VWs have their selling points too. Sometime, peak in the window of a Jetta or Rabbit and see what kind of interior you get for 17k. Its definitely the best interior short of 30k.
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