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Backseat Driver's Manual: Got My Attention!

backseat driver's manualJust when I start to think that there are no more possible ways to uniquely market something to consumers, I become proven wrong. Yesterday I was thumbing through my new copy of ESPN the magazine. I don’t know about you, but anytime I’m going through a new mag for the first time, I make the rounds and rip out all those annoying cardboard inserts; that’s when I stumbled upon a small 13 page booklet by the name of “Backseat Driver’s Manual”. As a clever marketing strategy by Volkswagen, this humorous Backseat Driver’s Manual clearly defines your roles and responsibilities which include important topics such as “parallel parking and the backseat driver”, “merging”, “blind spots” and “monitoring fluid intake”.

Personally, I wouldn’t be caught dead in a Volkswagen Jetta, but I know clever marketing when I see it. This attention-getting tactic went beyond the usual catchy phrases or eye-popping pictures. There was no way I could miss it, and not just in the sense of unavoidable visibility, it was the sense of touch, of ripping out this thick little booklet out of a magazine that makes the “Backseat Driver’s Manual” virtually impossible to ignore. Ingenious!

Max Speed

If the Pole Position Marketing team had a muse—and it does—it would be Max Speed. We love Max’s occasionally off-color, usually amusing and always pointed “Maxisms.” (Maybe “Maxims” would be a better word.) Max gives voice to some of the things we think but, bound by professional decorum, aren’t permitted to say. At least, not out loud.

4 Responses to Backseat Driver's Manual: Got My Attention!

  1. Igor M. says:

    Stoney, once again let us be proven that UNIQUE / CLEVER / RELEVANT is the game of today’s marketing.

    You would not talk about Jetta if all they did was (like everyone else) placed a picture of the car, with an MSRP and 3 sentences written by a copywriter who’s paid $700/hour.

  2. Michael Seaton says:

    I found the booklet in Wired. Immediately blogged about it. Before I posted I did a search. You guys came up number one. Kudos. You scooped me! But that was it, no other chatter that I could find?!?

    It think it is outstanding print execution. Love the WOM that it inspires and the pass along value of the card inside.

    What would have been better would have been to include an online component. Anyhow, I gave you props for the pic! (no scanner here!)
    Cheers.

  3. Misty Mills says:

    My neighbor got one in their “wired” magazine and I am SO jealous! It even comes with a license! I wish I knew where else to get them!!! These would make AWESOME stocking stuffers!!!

  4. Bobby Borden says:

    Hey interesting post.
    About Volkswagen bad quality, have you heard of the Volkswagen Phaeton? Did you know it’s basically a chopped up Bentley Continental GT? Sad, but true.
    The VW Phaeton was a total failure in my opinion, the worst thing VW ever made!

    Its Official: VW Phaeton is a fail!