• Mar 26th 2011 at 5:03PM
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Volkswagen's Black Beetle Commercial – Click above to watch video after the jump

Companies prefer spending ad dollars on TV shows that people are actually going to watch. Sometimes, it's simply a matter of buzz; if a lot of good or bad things are being said about a program, people are likely to tune in out of curiosity. Volkswagen is aware of this, and the automaker is betting that folks are going to tune into watch MTV's controversial new show Skins.

Declared too racy by some critics, Skins was a high-school drama that showed drug use and sex amongst teenagers. It was also apparently quite terrible, judging from the reviews found around the Internet.The show aired its season (and possibly series) finale this past Monday, and VW was on board with some advertising airtime.

The initial backlash against Skins was enough to send some top-tier advertisers running. Volkswagen was willing to gamble that enough hype had been generated and people would tune in to the season-ender. Able to grab more airtime than usual, the automaker double-dipped on its new Black Beatle commercial, which was first seen during Super Bowl XLV. Smart move for VW? Well, the Skins finale drew 1.2 million viewers, the most the show had since February 7, for whatever that's worth.

Click past the jump to watch Volkswagen's Black Beetle commercial, and you don't even have to sit through an episode of Skins beforehand.

[Sources: The New York Times, YouTube]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I liked the ad from the Superbowl, and I still like it now.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Glucker, you loser! What the hell kind of a statement is this?: "Well, the Skins finale drew 1.2 million viewers, the most the show had since February 7, for whatever that's worth."

      What's the point if this entire article if you don't provide some context for this otherwise meaningless statistic? Was this a good bet on VW's part? A bad bet? Did the air time cost more or less than average air time? Without this information, all you're telling us is that VW aired some ads during a TV show, which isn't news.
        • 4 Years Ago
        They aired a commercial during a show that has a lot of viewers. A lot of viewers = the ad reaching those lots of viewers.

        Basics of TV Marketing 101
      • 4 Years Ago
      There will be people that tune in just due to the controversy. I have seen parts of that show, however, and it is pure drivel beyond its titillation factor.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once again Autoblog shows how little it knows about advertising...

        Most companies buy advertising space in terms of Target Rating Points. When a company advertises on MTV specifically, they are usually most interested in advertising to specific younger 12-34 age group, where Skins rates relatively well. The fact that it attracted 1.2 million viewers isn't necessarily impressive -- it's the demographic makeup of those viewers that is important.

        As the NYT article summarizes, packaged goods companies are much more sensitive about their image, as they spend millions on marketing and crafting their unique value proposition in the marketplace. This is why many blue chip brands and snack companies pulled out of advertising on Skins.

        For automobile manufacturers and entertainment companies, this is usually not as much of a concern. VW clearly judged that the Volkswagen and Beetle name brand were strong enough that it was worth advertising if 15-year old Susie is about to get a brand new car on her 16th birthday, and learns about the New Beetle during the commercial break on Skins.

        As a person who works in marketing, I wouldn't necessarily call that a bold bet in the world of advertising, as VW has a history of advertising in more controversial TV shows when they still make sense for their target rating groups (also mentioned in the article).

        You guys should really stick to the cars.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Not that many people here will care but once again Skins on MTV shows as a society how narrow minded we as a Nation are. Skins is in it's 4th season in the UK where MTV lifted the series from, literally word for word at least as far as the first episode is concerned, where it has won many awards.

      Oh well maybe Skins will stop the deluge of copycat programming that we get in the US and force the studios to actually write something worth a damn, until then I can't wait for BBC's iPlayer to be released so I can continue to watch good television.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Once again opinions vary. I personally hated the bits I watched. Sure, there are some great UK shows (Coupling was my fave), but the US 'Skins' is not worth my time (as well as most TV nowadays)
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed, I'm a big fan of the UK Skins and couldn't even bear to watch 45 seconds of the American knockoff. It also shows just how uptight we are in America as the UK version is quite a bit more racy and yet stirs up far less controversy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      New show? But it's just a direct carry over of 2007's UK version... with much less nudity, swearing, accents, fun...
      • 4 Years Ago
      Just show us the damn car already!

      I will lose interest if you continue to tease, and tease and tease!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      VW is going ghetto in their ad placement.
      Trashy trashy.
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