Back on November 11, 2015 I wrote a post entitled “Das Issues: What’s Next for Volkswagen?” In it, I discussed the emissions scandal, and what I thought the brand could do to start the process of reconnecting with current customers and reaching out to prospects.
At the end of the post, I made a suggestion that went like this:
If I was a brand consultant for Volkswagen, (full disclosure: I’m not, but certainly available!) I would start by going back to what helped build their perception: The dorky little outsider that promised the moon and modestly delivered it. My very next ad headline (think full page insertions in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today,) would probably read “11 million Lemons.” And the body copy would go on to overtly apologize for the transgression, and then outline the steps we were taking to make good on our (new) promises and deliver exceptional automotive engineering.
And then I’d invite consumers to come along for the (literal and figurative) ride to redemption. Das Step 1.
So I was just poking around today and saw this article about Volkswagen. As you can see, it’s written on November 17th. It talks about how VW started running full-page insertions in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal. The headline reads “We’re working to make things right.” And the CEO apologizes for the transgression, and begins to outline some steps to make good.